Sizing Europe proved that he has huge reserves of fortitude to match his class as he battled bravely to land the Boylesports.com Champion Chase on the opening day of the Punchestown festival.
The 10 year old was sent off the 8/13 favourite to make amends for his narrow and controversial defeat at the hands of Finians Rainbow in the Queen Mother Champion Chases at the Cheltenham festival.
Ridden by Andrew Lynch, Sizing Europe was always in a handy position in the early stages of the two mile contest with his market rivals, Big Zeb and Realth Duby content to sit at the rear of the field.
When the race hotted up turning for home it was Sizing Europe that kicked for home first and a mighty leap at the third last looked to have sealed the race.
However Realth Dubh and Paul Carberry were waiting in the shadows and coming down to the last he loomed up as a huge danger to Sizing Europe,who was clearly tiring in the soft ground.
Sizing Europe got a good jump at the last and dug deep to fend off Realth Dubh, who went down fighting with Big Zeb back in third.
Speaking after the race, a delighted Henry De Bromhead, trainer of Sizing Europe said in the winners enclosure ” The ground was testing enough and they’re finishing tired.
“With Realt Dubh bearing down on us going to the last I was a bit nervous but our lad ground it out in the end.
“He jumped great and out of that ground he’s not going to jump with the same exuberance as he does on better ground but he did the job and I’m delighted.”