Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Zero to Hero for Henry's Europe

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Zero to Hero for Henry's Europe

Article excerpt

A CHELTENHAM Festival failure became a confirmed hero as Sizing Europe yesterday crushed the last two winners of the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

In 2008 trainer Henry de Bromhead had arrived in Gloucestershire dreaming of winning the Champion Hurdle with his hot favourite, but optimism turned to despair when Sizing Europe tailed off.

He did not even make the meeting the following year but all was forgiven 12 months ago with victory in the Arkle Trophy, and this five-length defeat of the reigning champion Big Zeb completed his ascent of the two-mile division.

The 2-1 favourite Master Minded, winner in 2008 and 2009, made a terrible mistake at the second-last when looking beaten and finished eighth.

Sizing Europe's jockey Andrew Lynch may appear shy out of the saddle but he certainly stands up to be counted in the thick of battle by forcing the pace.

At the final bend Sizing Europe had his rivals off the bridle and on an afternoon of total Irish domination, the 10-1 shot led home a one-two-three-four for the Emerald Isle as Captain Cee Bee and Golden Silver claimed the minor places.

De Bromhead, Lynch and owners Alan and Ann Potts had secured Tuesday's cross-country race with Sizing Australia.

"He's like a child to me, he's just been a wonderful horse and my wife would confirm I spend far more time with him than with anyone else," said the County Waterford-based trainer. "We've had a lot of very good days and a couple of dodgy ones but today he showed his true self."

He went on: "He was so quiet this morning that I said to his lass he's either dead or in a very chilled-out zone. We were praying it was a chilled-out zone, which it was."

Lynch fell out of fashion at one time in his career but he has proved himself capable of being relied upon for the big occasion, saying: "Henry always said he wanted a strongly-run, two-mile race, this is the only race all year that suits him. …

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