Wednesday 21 March 2018

Late Rubi blunder gifts Gowran prize to Sizing

Tom Peacock

Champion Chase hero Sizing Europe profited from the final-fence fall of Rubi Light when running out a fortuitous winner of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Champion Chase at Gowran Park yesterday.

On his return to action for the season, Henry de Bromhead's stable star was sent off the even-money favourite to beat three rivals, which included last season's Ryanair Chase third Rubi Light.

The latter was soon setting a sedate gallop under Davy Russell, but he had his opponents on the stretch when upping the pace heading down the back straight. By the time he arrived at the turn for home, he had Sizing Europe and his nearest pursuer Coolcashin in real trouble and was easing to an impressive success until suffering a nasty fall.

Both horse and rider were soon back on their feet, but the way was clear for Sizing Europe to take the Grade Two prize in the hands of Andrew Lynch, passing the post a length and three-quarters ahead.

"No-one wants to win a race like that and he was very fortuitous," said De Bromhead. "The lad in front (Rubi Light) is a very good horse and a course and distance winner as well. He was always going to put it up to us.

"Sizing Europe never jumped a fence today and Andrew said he was slipping going into each fence. The James Nicholson Chase ( Champion Chase) at Down Royal next month (November 5) is a possibility for him now."

Elsewhere, Richard Hannon went a long way towards retaining his British Flat trainers' championship title with the victory of Coupe De Ville in the £500,000 Tattersalls Millions 2yo Trophy at Newmarket.

The stylish success of the Clodovil colt (8/1), which quickened smartly to beat stablemate Tell Dad by a length, helped Hannon move well over £1million clear of Henry Cecil, who holds a number of big chances at Qipco Champions Day at Ascot on October 15.

Mehdi attempted to make all and still led the field on the stands rail two from home, but was a further half-length back in third at the line. David Wachman's Alkazim (18/1) ran well to finish fourth for Colm O'Donoghue but couldn't get in a blow on the winner.

"Coupe De Ville had a tough race, he got badly hampered but it just proves that if you buy the right horse, then you can win these races," said Hannon, who bagged a total of £387,500 from the race. "That will be it for the season for him, as he is an improving horse and I would like to save him for next year. Tell Dad was a good reserve in second."

Samitar landed the big pot she richly deserved in the £300,000 Tattersalls Millions 2yo Fillies' Trophy. Winner of the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot before missing out by a head in a similar event to this on the July course, Mick Channon's filly had since been placed in both the May Hill Stakes and the Fillies' Mile.

The last-named race was just a over a week ago, and the daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar showed her tough constitution in racing handily throughout before digging in to see off Hazel Lavery by a length and a quarter, without Sam Hitchcott having to get overly serious.

Channon's son, also Mick, said of the 5/4 favourite: "She looks the type to go for the Guineas next year."

At Ascot, meanwhile, Tim Easterby's Ponty Acclaim bounced back to form by beating a field of smart juveniles in the Jaguar XJ Cornwallis Stakes. Twice a winner at Ripon and also on the scoresheet at Thirsk, the youngster had appeared to have her limitations exposed in an Ayr Listed event last time.

But the 20/1 chance looked much more at home on this faster surface and having travelled sweetly for Ted Durcan, she quickened up smartly to take the lead in the last of the five furlongs.

Sunday Indo Sport

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport