Sizing Rio made of right stuff to shine in testing conditions
SIZING Rio, which made an auspicious Bennettsbridge debut last year, is the equine star attraction on tonight's point-to-point themed meeting at Tipperary.
Juxtaposed alongside the promising five-year-old at the top of the bill is Flat legend Lester Piggott, who will formally unveil the Limerick Junction venue's €400,000 redevelopment.
With the ground heavy and showers forecast, track officials will be praying that their best-laid plans don't get washed away.
Should the meeting prevail, Sizing Rio certainly won't mind the testing conditions. It was similarly deep when he had the subsequent County Hurdle hero Ted Veale among his victims in a Navan Grade Three back in November.
Trained by Henry de Bromhead (above), the gelding has held his form well since then without developing much further, though he always looked more of an embryonic chaser than a hurdler.
Sizing Rio now gets the chance to confirm that impression under Andrew Lynch in this evening's beginners' chase, and he should justify the nap selection in a modest heat.
Nina Carberry returns after breaking her collarbone on Timmy Hyde's Ashford Wood in the p2p.ie bumper, but Willie Mullins' Gigginstown Stud-owned Unic De Bersy will be hard to beat in that.
Robert Tyner is well represented throughout the card. He has secured Ruby Walsh's services for Young Finnegan in the opening Healy Partners Maiden Hurdle, and it's hard to look beyond the impressive Cork bumper winner.
Walsh is on Gerry O'Neill's Ballinrobe winner Ballyreesode in the subsequent Arkenvale Ltd Handicap Hurdle, but Tyner's Sterling Stuff, second then, is preferred off 13lb more favourable terms for a four-length beating.
In the Glenview and Rathbarry Studs Hunters' Chase, Lord Heathfield gets the nod under Gerry Mangan.