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De Bromhead keen to keep Cheltenham options open for 'Europe'

Henry De Bromhead is in no rush to decide Sizing Europe's Cheltenham target after his creditable effort in Sunday's Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown.

The nine-year-old has failed to find the winner's enclosure since landing the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham last season, but has been placed over trips varying from two to three miles. The gelding holds entries in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Ryanair Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup at next month's Festival.

"He seems fine and I thought he ran okay," said De Bromhead. "His jumping wasn't as slick as it can be, but it was his first run since November and he ran all right. He's in all three races at Cheltenham so we'll keep our options open for the moment and hopefully finalise plans in the next few weeks.

"There is no rush to decide and we just want to see how he comes out of the race at the weekend and think it all through. We'll also have to consider the ground at Cheltenham. Whatever happens, to show his real best he needs that better ground. He hasn't had that on his last couple of starts."

Meanwhile, Get Me Out Of Here is all set to bid for back-to-back successes in the valuable totesport Trophy at Newbury on February 12. The Jonjo O'Neill-trained gelding was just touched off by Menorah in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle after his victory in the race last year.


Since then, however, things have not gone to plan. A novice chase campaign was shelved after he failed to take to it on the schooling grounds and nothing has come to light after two lacklustre runs so far this season. Frank Berry, owner JP McManus' racing manager, hopes the seven-year-old will have benefited from a short spell off since his sixth behind old rival Menorah in the Greatwood Hurdle.

"The totesport Trophy is definitely the plan," said Berry. "Jonjo hasn't been able to put his finger on what was wrong with him earlier in the season, but he was disappointing. You're always trying to sort things out to work out what is wrong with them, but nothing really came to light. He seems to be back in good form, that's the main thing."

Sky Bet make last year's winner a 10/1 chance to repeat the dose but they report strong interest in Nicky Henderson's French import Solix. Winner of a Grade Three event at Auteuil, he was fourth in Grade One company on his last start before being purchased by Michael Buckley. If Overturn misses the race, as expected, Solix will be left at the head of the weights with Alan King's Salden Licht.

totesport Trophy -- Sky Bet betting: 7/1 Final Approach, 8/1 Walkon, Salden Licht, 10/1 Soldatino, Get Me Out of Here, Notus de la Tour, 11/1 Recession Proof, 12/1 Solix, Iolith, 14/1 bar.

Irish Independent