Sizing Europe to defend Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham

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Tagged under: 3.20 Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase 2m

Sizing Europe is set to defend his Queen Mother Champions Chase crown at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival following a scintillating win on his return to two miles on Saturday.

Trainer Henry de Bromhead had wanted to campaign his dual Cheltenham Festival winner over three miles this term but the nine-year-old showed he is at his best over two miles with a resounding eight-length victory in the Tingle Creek at Sandown on 3rd December.

Having showed promise when finishing second to Kauto Star on his first attempt over three miles last season, Sizing Europe’s connections wanted to try him over the extended trip again this year. After a comfortable win over two-and-a-half miles at Gowran Park on his seasonal reappearance, Sizing Europe failed to deliver over three miles at Down Royal in November when finishing runner up to Quito De La Rouge in the Grade 1 JNWINE.Com Champion Chase.

Afterwards owner Alan Potts told De Bromhead his horse should go back to running over the minimum trip and the decision paid off when Sizing Europe ran out an emphatic winner from second placed Kauto Stone at Sandown.

On returning to his headquarters on Sunday, the trainer said: "He's such a class horse he hammered them there yesterday on ground that wouldn't be his optimum. He's just class.

"He'll probably have a break now and we'll bring him back for the Tied Cottage at Punchestown and then hopefully head for the Champion Chase.”

Sizing Europe now heads the ante-post betting market for the Queen Mother Champion Chase which he won at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival when beating Big Zeb by five-lengths with Master Minded back in eighth position. As a novice, Sizing Europe had shown he had a career ahead as a top class chaser when winning the Arkle Trophy at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival.

After his victory in the Tingle Creek, some bookmakers halved Sizing Europe’s odds for the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Victor Chandler were offering the best odds of 10/3 on the following Monday.

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