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Bookies Sizing up Europe triumph

BOOKMAKERS Boylesports make Sizing Europe the 7/4 favourite for tomorrow's JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal in which the five-time Grade One-winning chaser will again experiment over three-miles.

A winner of his seasonal debut at Gowran Park over 2m4f last month, Sizing Europe will bid to go one better than he has in this race for the last two years when just getting collared late on by Quito De La Roque last year and following home Kauto Star in 2010.

Connections have always mulled over a tilt at possible longer distances and potentially a Gold Cup campaign and he is far clear on ratings of tomorrow's rivals.

Quito De La Roque was met with a couple of setbacks last season when his campaign was prematurely ended in the Lexus at Leopardstown at Christmas and he is one of two Gigginstown House Stud runners declared for tomorrow's showpiece.

First Lieutenant is the other after connections opted to declare him at the 48-hour stage with the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby bypassed as the ground was described as good to soft at Down Royal.

Quito De La Roque is the second favourite for the race and has been the pick of Gigginstown's retained jockey Davy Russell, who will partner the 4/1 shot.

Paul Nicholls' Kauto Stone won the Ladbrokes Chase on the card last year and he bids to step up on that and record another course win and emulate Kauto Star by landing the JNWine.com Champion Chase.


Kauto Stone is an easy to back 6/1 shot on what is the six-year-old's first run since he finished well adrift in the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree back in April. He also has eight lengths to find on Sizing Europe on his meeting with him at Sandown in last year's Tingle Creek.

Mud-loving Joncol doesn't look like getting his ideally preferred conditions and as a result has drifted out to 8/1 despite a pleasing return at Punchestown last month, while Noel Meade's Realt Dubh has been the subject of some support and has been nipped into 6/1 as he too steps up to three miles for the first time.

Realt Dubh was a three-time Grade One winner as a novice and then endured a injury-stricken campaign last season when only managing to run twice, the second of which was a game effort when running Sizing Europe to two and a quarter lengths at Punchestown.

A winner of the Powers Gold Cup over 2m4f and a former point to point winner over 3m, the step up in trip will be an interesting move for a horse Meade still holds in high regard.

Sponsors Ladbrokes have priced up the Grade Two Ladbrokes Chase on tomorrow's card and they make Bog Warrior their 6/4 joint favourite with Cristal Bonus.

Tony Martin's stable star is only 1/1 with Paddy Power who make Cristal Bonus a 13/8 chance for the 2m4f heat which see's Rivage D'Or a 6/1 shot and Philip Dempsey's Jacksonslady an 8/1 shot from 10/1 with the sponsors.