Cheltenham festival: final decs for QM Champion Chase plus comments on Sizing Europe
1) Mail de Bievre (FR) Tom George 8-11-10 Paddy Brennan
2) Sanctuaire (FR) Paul Nicholls 7-11-10 Ruby Walsh
3) Sizing Europe (IRE) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11-11-10 Andrew Lynch
4) Somersby (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Mick Channon 9-11-10 Dominic Elsworth
5) Sprinter Sacre (FR) Nicky Henderson 7-11-10 Barry Geraghty
6) Tataniano (FR) Richard Rowe 9-11-10 Andrew Thornton
7) Wishfull Thinking (Tongue Strap) Philip Hobbs 10-11-10 Richard Johnson
SPRINTER’S TASK JUST GOT HARDER AS EUROPE LINES UP
Sprinter Sacre’s bid to extend his unbeaten run in Wednesday’s Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase has been made more challenging by the declaration of perennial Irish raider Sizing Europe.
The Henry De Bromhead-trained 11-year-old has been in sparkling form this season and has a fine Cheltenham Festival record, having won the Racing Post Arkle Trophy in 2010 and the Queen Mum in 2011. He was also second in the race last year.
A bid for Thursday’s Ryanair Chase over two miles and five furlongs was an option for the Sizing Europe team, but De Bromhead and owners Ann and Alan Potts have plumped for the shorter race. Yet following news of Sizing Europe’s target the race sponsors reacted by easing him from 5/1 to 11/2.
At Cheltenham this morning, after exercising his Festival runners in the centre of the course, De Bromhead said: “We made a decision late last night [Sunday]. The horses travelled over yesterday and they all seem fine.
“Sizing Europe has been out, stretched his legs and had a peck of grass and seems very happy with life. The ground is fine – soft is ideal.”
De Bromhead has also declared Sizing Australia for tomorrow’s Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase, on Wednesday he plans to run Sizing Gold in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, while on Thursday he hopes to be represented by Berties Dream in the Pertemps Final.