• Racing/
  • Sizing Europe Triumphs Again

Boylesports.com Champion Chase (Grade 1) 2m

  • (5yo+, 2m, Class 1, 8 runners)
  • Winner €124,000 2nd €38,000 3rd €18,000 4th €6,000 5th €4,000
  • Going: Good to Yielding
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 5.90s
  • Off time: 17:30:30
  • Last Updated: April 30 2014, 7:29 BST

Sizing Europe brought the house down at Punchestown as the 12-year-old won the Boylesports Champion Chase for a second time on what could have been his final start.

Sizing Europe is clear over the final fence, leaving Savello and Somersby trailing.
Sizing Europe is clear over the final fence, leaving Savello and Somersby trailing.

One of the most durable steeplechasers in recent times, the dual Cheltenham Festival winner was running in this race for a fifth time having also finished second in 2011 and last year.

He had something to find on this season's form, but jumped impeccably for Andrew Lynch, ridden more conservatively than usual.

Twinlight took the field along over the first couple of fences before Baily Green took over the advantage before the halfway mark.

The well-fancied Hidden Cyclone was prominent behind the leaders when getting the fifth  fence wrong, stumbling and crashing out, in the process badly hampering Module who was immediately pulled up by Barry Geraghty.

Meanwhile, Sizing Europe (7/1) went to the front before the home turn and galloped on strongly for Lynch, outstaying challengers Savello and Ballynagour, and extending his advantage in the final stages to score by five and a half lengths.

"He obviously didn't run the race he could [at Cheltenham] but he was back to his brilliant best here," said an emotional owner Alan Potts, who initially said that horse would be retired before slightly backtracking in a subsequent interview.

"Possibly," he said, second time round. "We wanted him to go out on a win. He's got a win. We'll see."

Successful trainer Henry De Bromhead added: "He is just unbelievable, he was running away with Andrew. He was just loving it. I'm speechless.

"He seemed to travel well throughout and he just seemed to enjoy himself.

"The horse has just been a superstar for us, I've been saying it for years. He stays sound and enjoys doing it. He'd been working well all year but not been doing it on the track for some reason."

Of Ballynagour, who kept on to be second, trainer David Pipe said: "He ran an absolute blinder. It was a bit of an experiment dropping back to two miles but the ground helped him.

"He's never put two runs together in the past, let alone three, so it gives us lots of options for next year."

Sizing Europe was winning for the 21st time from 42 career starts, his first success under Rules coming in a bumper at Naas in 2006.

Also top class over the smaller obstacles, he landed the Irish Champion Hurdle in 2008 by eight lengths from Hardy Eustace.

As a novice chaser Sizing Europe claimed the Arkle at Cheltenham in 2010, beating Somersby, and returned the following year to lift the Queen Mother Champion Chase crown.

De Bromhead said that he owed much to the horse.

"He's helped us build a business," said the trainer. "We've had him for eight great years.

"The first time we went and galloped him in a schooling race he just came through and finished in front - in those days not many of mine did that. He kind of went through them like a Ferrari."