Wednesday 19 December 2012

Europe team favouring Leopardstown over Kempton

It’s beginning to look as though Sizing Europe, Ireland’s main hope for honours in the forthcoming Grade 1 William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, will not be heading to the Sunbury track to take on Long Run and the rest of the home team and will instead remain on Irish soil and bid for a choice of engagements at the showcase Leopardstown Christmas meeting. 

Henry de Bromhead’s high-class 10-year-old, winner of the 2011 Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and runner-up to Finian’s Rainbow in the same event last season, has proved himself a tremendously versatile performer, complementing his speed and agility over two-miles with the ability to stay up to three miles at Grade 1 level. ante-post list in the Titan Bet horse racing odds for the Kempton highlight prior to the revelation that he would more than likely miss the contest, Sizing Europe is now available at 10/1 and will doubtless be pushed out further as more solid confirmation is revealed about his final plans. Already this season the Ann and Alan Potts-owned gelding has proved himself in great form, beginning the campaign with a seven-and-a-half length defeat of old rival Forpadydeplasterer in the Grade 2 PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park in October, before following up in equally pleasing fashion when accounting for Magnanimity in the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase early last month.

De Bromhead explained that there are two possible options for his former champion chaser at Leopardstown, the Dial-A-Bet Chase over two miles and the Lexus Chase over three miles, and with the weather forecast suggesting stormy weather over the Christmas period, connections are beginning to come around to the view that a journey over from Ireland to England in such conditions would do nothing to enhance the chances of their representative. 

The 2010 winner Long Run remains the rock solid 7/2 favourite for the King George VI Chase with most punters citing the recent Paddy Power Gold Cup hero Al Ferof (5/1) as the most likely danger. Sizing Europe has been introduced into the ante-post market for the Lexus Chase at around 6/1 for a contest that seems likely to be the target of recent impressive winner Flemenstar (2/1) and possibly the Hennessy Gold Cup winner Bob’s Worth (9/4), who represents the in-form Nicky Henderson stable and could lead the British challengers.