Sizing Europe (Andrew Lynch) jumps the last to win the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase
©Healy Racing Photos
By Alan Magee
Sizing Europe justified prohibitive odds in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase, although the Henry de Bromhead-trained gelding was made to work hard for his seventh Grade 1 victory on day two of the Leopardstown Festival meeting.
The 1/3 favourite and Rubi Light (7/1) set the pace in this 2m1f event, with the field reduced to just five runners - Foildubh an absentee and 16/1 chance Blazing Tempo (lame) was withdrawn before the start.
The two principals both jumped well but Andrew Lynch was travelling ominously well on the” jolly” who edged on four lengths clear before the last.
He decided to pop the last fence which gave Rubi Light a glimmer of hope but Lynch’s mount responded well to pressure on the run-in to score by two and a half lengths.
De Bromhead said, “He looked like he was going to win easy but in, fairness to Rubi Light, he came back at him. He could have gone faster early on and when I saw him running keenly early on, I wasn’t feeling that comfortable.
“There are no easy Grade 1’s but when you are 1/3 favourite you expect to win. That was the pressure today.
“He’ll probably be entered in three races at Cheltenham (Champion Chase, Ryanair and Gold Cup). His performance in the Clonmel Oil was great, certainly more impressive than today, and maybe he needs two and a half miles now.
“He could go for something like the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park. We’ll have to have a think about it.”
Bookmaker reaction to the performance was somewhat mixed, with Paddy Power and Stan James leavingSizing Europe unchanged at 7/1 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, while Boylesports left him at 6/1. Ladbrokes however cut the former champion into 4/1 (from 5’s).
Stan James cut Rubi Light into 14/1 (from 20's) for the Ryanair Chase, and makeSizing Europe a 10/1 chance for the same race.