Sizing Europe won the PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park for the third successive year in a confident jumping display, but was made to work possibly harder than was expected for the 11 year old Henry de Bromhead trained horse.
Sizing Europe has become a Cheltenham Festival favourite over the past several years, with wins in the Arkle and the Queen Mother Champions Chase and Saturday's performance would suggest that there are still races to be won in the future for this popular horse. He has not been seen since beaten by Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase at Punchestown in April but returning to Gowan Park on Saturday it was great to see a display of fluid jumping before staying on strongly towards the end to beat off the pursuits of Baily Green and Rubi Light.
Sizing Europe has been considered by connections to go over further, and Saturday's staying on performance was further evidence of the horse's versatility and it could be the case that we see the 11 year old tried over 3 miles this season and it will be intriguing how he features in 2014 Cheltenham betting.
De Bromhead said: "That was great, it was a sigh of relief. Every time he runs now it is a relief.
"He has such a record here that sometimes he might not be up for it as much as he was. He's definitely representing the elderly.
"I say it every time but I am so lucky to train him. His work at home has been so good the guys can't hold him, he loves it.
"Rosemary, who rides his Flat work, writes notes every day and it just says 'super form' every day.
"Andrew said he gave a blow at the second-last and he'll improve a good bit. I wouldn't mind stepping him up in trip and giving him a crack at three miles on good ground.
"We'll look at the Down Royal race again in which he has been second to Kauto Star and Quito De La Roque.
"There are other races but he's maybe a bit too slow for two miles now. I'll talk to Alan and Ann (Potts) and see what the ground is like."