February 5, 2012 at 20:44 #20929ZarkavaParticipant
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With horses like Kauto Star, Denman & Hurricane Fly around, racing’s had a lot of star names for the public to adore, but Sizing Europe has always been under the radar due to various problems through his career, but to be honest, regardless of what happens next month, he is a true champion & deserves so much more credit than he’s ever gotten.
He burst onto the scene when winning the Greatwood, his first visit to Cheltenham, and currently has form figures of 1011 there. He beat Osana before absolutely bolting up in the Irish Champion Hurdle. He was sent off a very popular favourite for the race and was simply cruising 2-out, only to pull some muscles in his back and end up finishing 14th.
He came back the following season but didn’t appear to be the same horse in his opening 2 starts and consequently skipped the Festival in favour of a run at Punchestown, again disappointing while finished 4th.
It was at this moment when his career really took off – when he went chasing. 4 victories in a row before winning the Arkle, but disappointed some whilst only finishing 3rd against the older horses at Punchestown. His second-season chasing career was rather low key at first, running over 3 miles twice and then dropping back to 2 miles for the Tied Cottage, coming off the bridle about 3 out and being beaten 7 lengths.
But then it was back to Cheltenham, and despite being sent off a relatively unfancied 10/1 shot, powered up the hill to beat the previous year’s champion Big Zeb by 5. He couldn’t follow up at Punchestown, going down by nearly a length.
Connections refused to give up hope of him turning into a Gold Cup horse, running him over 2m 4f and then 3m, being lucky in the former when Rubi Light fell and unlucky in the latter when being collared in the final 50 yards by Quito de la Roque in the mud.
But back to 2 miles for the Tingle Creek & he simply hosed up, being in command from 3 out and never needing to be stoked up to win by 8. And now today, winning the Tied Cottage by 15.
Were it not for injuries and connections trying to turn him into something he’s not, would it be unrealistic to say that he could have dominated the 2m hurdling and chasing scenes for 4 years?
A phenomenal horse & I very much hope he wins the second Queen Mum that he richly deserves.February 5, 2012 at 21:30 #390004freeradicalMember
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Sizing Europe looked as good as I’ve ever seen him look in the parade ring today. But also being a Big Zeb fan, took on a watching brief though I couldn’t quite bring myself to bet against one of them.
What seems to be a shame is that talk is about the novices when Sizing is a great horse that perhaps hasn’t got the credit he is due. Lets hope he retains his crown and finally gets his due appreciation.February 6, 2012 at 01:11 #390022befairParticipant
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This is a great thread. I was a huge admirer of SE after he won the Greatwood. He then hosed up in the Irish Champion, and, I thought was cert for C’ham. He looked all over the winner 2 out, then faded, and I’ve never quite forgiven him for that, and keep expecting it to happen again.
But his record over the years has been superb; I still think he would get 3 miles on good ground and would be a contender for the KIng George, tho he’s probably too old to switch nowFebruary 6, 2012 at 01:18 #390024ZarkavaParticipant
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I’d say it’s almost certain they’ll run him in the 3m Grade 1 at Punchestown, Befair.February 6, 2012 at 02:06 #390028TomBarkley87Participant
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Good stuff Zarks, I’ve long admired Sizing Europe, and yes despite the division being low key right now he IS a true champion, and hopefully he will be a name that will be remembered by future generations.
I can’t see anything beating him next month. It would be gutting if he were beat though, as then he’d probably go down as nothing more than a Champion Chase winner, which is ridiculously undercrediting.
Superb horse, who deserves his place in history as a legendary Champion Chaser. Let’s just hope he gets it.
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