Sizing has it all tied up again
Sizing Europe repeated last year's success in the Boylesports.com Tied Cottage Chase with an emphatic display at Punchestown.
Henry de Bromhead's top-class 11-year-old has now won all his four starts this winter after disposing of the gallant Foildubh.
Andrew Lynch made all the running on the 1-8 shot and only Foildubh could keep tabs on him, flattering briefly but being put in his place from the second-last fence, though the winner did not appear quite his usual brilliant self in scoring by 10 lengths.
De Bromhead said: "It was a bit of a slog and he did what he had to do. He just looked very idle on ground that he wouldn't be mad about, and his jumping was OK."
Sizing Europe holds three entries at Cheltenham in March, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Ryanair Chase and Betfred Gold Cup, and De Bromhead added: "It hasn't really made any difference to where we'll go at Cheltenham.
"I'd say the Gold Cup is the outsider of the three options and we'll just see how everything unfolds. His most impressive win this year was probably the two-mile-four Clonmel Oil Chase."
Lynch told At The Races: "It's hard to go out and make the running on that ground. It's horrible tacky ground. He was just popping away, but he's done it well enough.
"I had a quick look going to the second-last and I knew Paul (Carberry, on Foildubh) was there, but once I got hold of my lad he picked up and went away. He's done it well.
"He was out on his own and when I did give him a kick he came up, which was nice."