Friday 24 November 2017

Sizing can make most of minimum trip

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

On an afternoon of competitive racing at Punchestown tomorrow, both of the Grade Two events promise to be hugely informative.

The Tied Cottage Chase sees the champion chaser Big Zeb face up to last year's Irish Independent Arkle Trophy hero Sizing Europe, as well as the 10-time winner Golden Silver. Having not looked back since leaving behind a poor effort in the Tingle Creek with a win here last year, Big Zeb is undoubtedly the one to beat.

That said, you could do worse than invest a speculative few euro on Sizing Europe at up to 7/2. A four-time winner around Punchestown, Henry de Bromhead's representative held his own over longer distances recently, but he isn't without a chance of causing an upset now that he reverts to the minimum trip.

Unbeaten in novice contests last term, Sizing Europe ran too freely when switched to two-mile championship company at Punchestown in April, though he still performed with credit to be third behind Golden Silver and Forpadydeplasterer. Unusually, Andrew Lynch's mount jumped less efficiently when upped in distance, so the step back might well work to his advantage now.

In the novice hurdle, Tornedo Shay is also taken to atone for a defeat last time. Sent off evens favourite in a conditions hurdle at Naas two weeks ago, Thomond O'Mara's charge failed to match the eventual winner Darwins Fox for speed from the last.

However, Tornedo Shay never looked comfortable in the badly cut up ground that day, and neither was the race run to suit him.

The veteran L'Ami set a pedestrian early pace, which meant that every one of the seven runners was still in with a chance turning in. Such a falsely run race didn't play to Tornedo Shay's strengths, but no such issue will arise tomorrow, with Gagewell Flyer likely to cut out the running.

While that one enhanced his reputation with an all-the-way win at this level last time, he drops half a mile in trip here, so he may be vulnerable as he attempts to concede 6lb all round.

Irish Independent

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