Sizing Europe chasing oil money
HENRY de Bromhead is not concerned about the prospect of soft ground for Sizing Europe ahead of tomorrow's Clonmel Oil Chase.
The 2011 Queen Mother Champion Chase hero is set to make his second start of the campaign in the Grade Two contest, having made a winning return at Gowran Park.
De Bromhead took the 10-year-old out of the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal earlier this month as he felt three miles on rain-sodden ground would sap his stamina.
However, conditions are not such a worry this time as he comes back in trip on a track the trainer believes will suit.
"Our feeling is that the ground is not such a big issue over two and a half miles," said the County Waterford trainer.
"Three miles in soft ground, after witnessing last year at Down Royal, we didn't want to see that again.
"We'd love to see him over three miles on good ground one day and just see what he can do.
"Two and a half should be fine. At two and a half last year at Down Royal he was all over the winner.
"I think Clonmel should be fine for him, it's a nice downhill run there. He hasn't run there before but I think he'll like it.
"He schooled around there a few times, they were very helpful when we were first going chasing so he knows the place."
De Bromhead confirmed Sizing Europe will not be heading to Sandown to defend his Tingle Creek crown early next month, with the trainer instead electing to keep his powder dry for the Festive period.
"We won't go to the Tingle Creek, we're aiming towards Christmas," he told At The Races.
"He's been entered for the King George, he'll be entered for the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown and he'll also be entered for the Lexus and we'll see what the ground is like.
"He's in mighty form and looks amazing."
Sizing Europe faces just four rivals at Clonmel, with Tranquil Sea bidding to win the race for the third successive year for trainer Edward O'Grady.
The Martin Hassett-trained Let Yourself Go was runner-up to Tranquil Sea two years ago and tries again, while Dessie Hughes' Magnanimity and Rathlin from the Mouse Morris stable complete the quintet.
Mouse Morris reckons Rathlin will appreciate the soft ground more than some of the opposition and reports the seven-year-old to be approaching his peak after two runs last month.
"He's come on a bit from Naas and going the right way now," said the County Tipperary trainer.
"There's only five runners and there's nice place money there.
"It will be soft but it will suit him better than a few of them, that's for sure."