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Queen Mother Champion Chase - Wed March 16th 2011 

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Sizing Europe Storms Home in Champion Chase
16/03/11

1 Sizing Europe 10/1
2 Big Zeb 3/1
3 Captain Cee Bee 14/1
11 ran Distances: 5l, 4l, 1½l
TIME 3m 54.92s (slow by 2.92s)

Sizing Europe won today’s sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase, following up his victory last year in the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy.

Sizing Europe
© racing-images.co.uk

Sizing Europe

The nine-year-old became a second winner of the week for owners Ann and Alan Potts, trainer Henry de Bromhead and jockey Andrew Lynch, who teamed up to win yesterday’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase with Sizing Australia.

De Bromhead, in a state of shock, said: “It’s unbelievable - after he crossed the line I turned to some poor man and said, ‘Did Sizing Europe just win the Queen Mother?’ and he said ‘Yeah’. God the horse was good, and Andrew was phenomenal.

“Sizing Europe has no turn of foot, he just gallops and gallops, so we agreed he had to have a strong pace - when they didn’t go quick enough Andrew took it up and it paid off. He got into a beautiful rhythm. He winged the fences, bar the second last.”

Sizing Europe was second to Kauto Star over three miles at Down Royal in the autumn, and De Bromhead said: “We always said the King George would be our decision maker on the subject of whether to stay at three miles, and when it was postponed [he didn’t take part in the rescheduled race following a rough trip back to Ireland] we started thinking he always performs so well at Cheltenham over two miles, let’s go for the Queen Mum.

“Good ground makes such a difference to him, and he’s very much more relaxed these days - he’s either dead or in a chilled-out zone. I was pretty wound up before the race, but got a bit brave and managed to watch it.

“All I was doing was praying, but we know he stays up the hill, all bar his run in the [2009] Champion Hurdle. He’s been unbelievable for us and I’ll be lucky to ever come across another one as good. Alan and Ann Potts have been great supporters of my yard - when they joined I’d had just three winners in my first season. We’ve gone from strength to strength.

“Andrew is a great horseman and a very nice guy, and he works bloody hard, driving the length and breadth of the country. Nothing is ever too much for him. It’s easy to work with a guy like that.”

 

Position
Horse
Trainer
Jockey
Weight
Starting Price
Beaten Distance
1
Sizing Europe
H de Bromhead
A E Lynch
11st 10lbs
10 - 1
Winner
2
Big Zeb
C A Murphy
B J Geraghty
11st 10lbs
3 - 1
5 lengths
3
Captain Cee Bee
E P Harty
A P McCoy
11st 10lbs
14 - 1
4 lengths
4
Golden Silver
W P Mullins
P Townend
11st 10lbs
11 - 1
1 1/2 length
5
Somersby
Miss H C Knight
R Thornton
11st 10lbs
8 - 1
1 3/4 length
6
French Opera
N J Henderson
A Tinkler
11st 10lbs
22 - 1
3 1/2 lengths
7
I'm So Lucky
D Pipe
T Scudamore
11st 10lbs
66 - 1
9 lengths
8
Master Minded
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 10lbs
2 - 1
6 lengths
9
Cornas
Nick Williams
L Aspell
11st 10lbs
150 - 1
1/2 length
10
Mad Max
N J Henderson
P Carberry
11st 10lbs
20 - 1
Nose
10
Woolcombe Folly
P F Nicholls
D Jacob
11st 10lbs
7 - 1
Dead Heat
       

 

“SIZING EUROPE HAS BEEN A PHENOMENON”

Henry de Bromhead, celebrating a double at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival courtesy of Sizing Australia in yesterday’ Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase and Sizing Europe in today’s feature race, admitted that he treats Sizing Europe as one of his own children.

“I’m very protective of him,” said the trainer, who has three children, two-year-old twins Jack and Mia and recent arrival, Georgia. “He’s like a child to me. Just ask my wife, she’ll tell you that I spend more time with him than with anyone else.

“He’s been phenomenal for us. He was rated 166 over hurdles and he’s had a lot of very good days along with a few dodgy ones, but today he showed his true self.”

Sizing Europe missed the rescheduled King George VI Chase in mid-January after he had endured a difficult passage back to Ireland when the original meeting was lost to bad weather.

“We’d always said that the King George would be our decision-maker and when that was cancelled we had to rejig. He took a long time to recover from the journey home and he has only really started to thrive in the last few weeks. He jumped really well at home last Thursday,” said the trainer.

“Last year in the Arkle his jumping was phenomenal and Andrew [Lynch] rides him really well. He put up such a performance today. The stats on Arkle winners going on to the Queen Mother [Champion Chase] helped in making the decision to drop him back down to two miles.

“He was rated 160 coming into today’s race and when he’s that good over two miles I wonder if he could be that good over three miles. We’ll see about stepping him back up in trip.”

Looking ahead, de Bromhead added that Sizing Europe may next be seen in action in his native country: “Alan and Ann [Potts, the horse’s owners] love Punchestown so I think we’ll probably go there.”

De Bromhead, who previously worked in England for Robert Alner in Dorset then flat trainer Sir Mark Prescott in Newmarket, added: “Sally Alner rang me yesterday to congratulate me on [Sizing] Australia and I heard a familiar voice behind me say, ‘Well done, Henry’. It gave me a shiver down my spine and it was Sir Mark.”

After disappointing when sent off favourite for the 2008 Champion Hurdle, Sizing Europe was found to have strained his sacro-iliac joint (pelvis) and was subsequently sent to one of Ireland’s best showing and event riders, Rosemary Connors, who has put in plenty of flat work with the dual Festival winner.

“Mentally he loves it and physically it has turned him inside out,” admitted de Bromhead.

Lynch, who was also enjoying his second win of the 2011 Festival in the same colours, said: “He was so impressive today, he jumped really well, apart from one down the back. Turning in I was a bit worried that we hadn’t gone quick enough but I’m thrilled to bits: two wins from two rides so far!”

Lynch continued: “He idles a bit in the straight so having two fences in the straight now really helped him to focus.”

Asked how it felt to get the better of Ruby Walsh, who was unplaced aboard dual winner Master Minded, Lynch replied: “We all look up to Ruby but it’s nice to beat him every now and again.”




ZEB BIG IN DEFEAT

Colm Murphy offered no excuses as Big Zeb came off second best in his bid to land the sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase for the second year running.

Barry Geraghty’s mount landed the two-mile championship event last year and took the inside route around the course as he tried to double up.

Sizing Europe was always just in front of him, though, and he maintained that advantage up the hill to lower the champion’s colours by five lengths.

Murphy said: “He has ran a blinder and the winner was very good.

“Barry said the ground was very dead and it was a lot quicker last year but I am delighted with the way he has ran.

“We will freshen him up now and then have a look at taking him to Punchestown.”



HARTY HOPES TO RETURN NEXT YEAR WITH CEE BEE

Trainer Eddie Harty was delighted with Captain Cee Bee’s effort to finish third in the sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase and hopes to come back to Cheltenham in 12 months’ time.

“It was a great run and we have no excuses. The ground was a bit dead but that was the same for all of them,” said Harty. “I always thought he was a champion chaser and he showed that he was right up there with them, it’s just nice to go to the last with a chance. Maybe it will be our turn next year and we’ll probably go to Punchestown next.”

Willie Mullins, trainer of fourth-placed Golden Silver, said: “He did everything right and has run a blinder. You’d have to be happy with that and he’ll go to Punchestown.”


MASTER MINDED - THE VERDICT

Master Minded, winner of the sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase twice before, was sent off the 2/1 favourite but could only finish eighth after blundering two out.

Ruby Walsh, his rider, said: “He quickened off the bend after the others initially had a length on me but then he made the mistake.”

Paul Nicholls, his trainer, commented: “Probably round here he wants the pace to be a bit slower. We may try him over further next season. If he had not made the mistake, he probably would have been placed.”

 

SEASONS HOLIDAYS QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE ROLL OF HONOUR

(Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase since 2007, Queen Mother Champion Chase 1980-2006, previously National Hunt Two Mile Champion Chase from when first run in 1959)

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

2010 Big Zeb
2009 Master Minded 6-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Clive Smith 4/11F 12
2008 Master Minded 5-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Clive Smith 3/1 8
2007 Voy Por Ustedes 6-11-10 Robert Thornton Alan King Sir Robert Ogden 5/1 10
2006 Newmill 8-11-10 Andrew McNamara John Murphy IRE Mary Hayes 16/1 12
2005 Moscow Flyer 11-11-10 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE Brian Kearney 6/4F 8
2004 Azertyuiop 7-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls John Hales 15/8 8
2003 Moscow Flyer 9-12-00 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE Brian Kearney 7/4F 11
2002 Flagship Uberalles 8-12-00 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Elizabeth Gutner/Michael Krysztofiak 7/4F 12
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Edredon Bleu 8-12-00 Tony McCoy Henrietta Knight Jim Lewis 7/2 9
1999 Call Equiname 9-12-00 Mick Fitzgerald Paul Nicholls Mick Coburn,Paul Barber,Colin Lewis 7/2 13
1998 One Man 10-12-00 Brian Harding Gordon Richards John Hales 7/2 8
1997 Martha’s Son 10-12-00 Rodney Farrant Tim Forster Paddy Hartigan/Michael Ward-Thomas 9/1 6
1996 Klairon Davis 7-12-00 Francis Woods Arthur Moore IRE Chris Jones 9/1 7
1995 Viking Flagship 8-12-00 Charlie Swan David Nicholson Roach Foods Ltd 5/2F 10
1994 Viking Flagship 7-12-00 Adrian Maguire David Nicholson Roach Foods Ltd 4/1 8
1993 Deep Sensation 8-12-00 Declan Murphy Josh Gifford Robin Eliot 11/1 9
1992 Remittance Man 8-12-00 Jamie Osborne Nicky Henderson Jim Collins Evs F 6
1991 Katabatic 8-12-00 Simon McNeill Andrew Turnell Pell-Mell Partners 9/1 7
1990 Barnbrook Again 9-12-00 Hywel Davies David Elsworth Mel Davies 11/10F 9
1989 Barnbrook Again 8-12-00 Simon Sherwood David Elsworth Mel Davies 7/4F 8
1988 Pearlyman 9-12-00 Tom Morgan John Edwards Valerie Shaw 15/8F 8
1987 Pearlyman 8-12-00 Peter Scudamore John Edwards Valerie Shaw 13/8F 8
1986 Buck House 8-12-00 Tommy Carmody Mouse Morris IRE Mrs Phil Purcell 5/2 11
1985 Badsworth Boy 10-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Monica Dickinson Doug Armitage 11/8 5
1984 Badsworth Boy 9-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Michael Dickinson Doug Armitage 8/13F 10
1983 Badsworth Boy 8-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Michael Dickinson Doug Armitage 2/1 6
1982 Rathgorman 10-12-00 Kevin Whyte Michael Dickinson J Lilley 100/30 9
1981 Drumgora 9-12-00 Frank Berry Arthur Moore IRE D Monahan 25/1 9
1980 *Another Dolly 10-12-00 Sam Morshead Fred Rimell Ian Urquhart 33/1 7
1979 Hilly Way 9-12-00 Mr Ted Walsh Peter McCreery IRE J W Sweeney 7/1 9
1978 Hilly Way 8-12-00 Tommy Carmody Peter McCreery IRE J W Sweeney 7/1 10
1977 Skymas 12-12-00 Mouse Morris Brian Lusk IRE Mathew Magee 7/2 8
1976 Skymas 11-12-00 Mouse Morris Brian Lusk IRE Mathew Magee 8/1 7
1975 Lough Inagh 8-12-00 Sean Barker Jim Dreaper IRE A Martin 100/30 8
1974 Royal Relief 10-12-00 Bill Smith Edward Courage Edward Courage 6/1 6
1973 Inkslinger 6-12-00 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Mrs M Jenney 6/1 6
1972 Royal Relief 8-12-00 Bill Smith Edward Courage Edward Courage 15/8 5
1971 Crisp 8-12-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter Sir Chester Manifold 3/1 8
1970 Straight Fort 7-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 7/4F 6
1969 Muir 10-12-00 Ben Hannon Tom Dreaper IRE Waring Willis 15/2 11
1968 Drinny’s Double 10-12-00 Frank Nash Bob Turnell Paul Mellon 6/1 5
1967 Drinny’s Double 9-12-00 Frank Nash Bob Turnell Paul Mellon 7/2 8
1966 Flyingbolt 7-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Mrs Jean Wilkinson 1/5F 6
1965 Dunkirk 8-12-00 Dave Dick Peter Cazalet Bill Whitbread 8/1 6
1964 Ben Stack 7-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 2/1 5
1963 Sandy Abbot 8-12-00 Stan Mellor George Owen Mrs J D McKechnie 5/1 5
1962 Piperton 8-12-00 Dave Dick Archie Thomlinson Archie Thomlinson 100/6 7
1961 Fortria 9-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 2/5F 5
1960 Fortria 8-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 15/8F 7
1959 Quita Que 10-12-00 Bunny Cox Dan Moore IRE Mrs D R Brand 4/9F 9

*Another Dolly finished second to Chinrullah, who was subsequently disqualified after failing a post-race urine test

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