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How Many Sizing's will Win at Cheltenham This Season?

Friday 4th December 2009

Did you know that there are 8 Sizing's in training at the moment, covering America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe, China and Mexico. The best of them all by a long way is Sizing Europe who is the current favourite for the Arkle Champion Chase at the festival in March.

Coming up this month at Cheltenham is Sizing Australia who is going to take his chance in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase and trainer Henry de Bromhead is hopeful. The seven-year-old made a pleasing first appearance over the unique three mile, seven furlong, course at The Open on November 13, staying on well to be a close third behind the Enda Bolger-trained pair of Garde Champetre and Heads Onthe Ground.

Co Waterford-based de Bromhead revealed this morning: “We are hoping to bring Sizing Australia back over to Cheltenham . I thought that he did brilliantly on his first try over the course at The Open and we were delighted with him.

“We will have to wait and see what the handicapper does but I am hopeful that we might be a bit better off at the weights with Enda’s runners. We have two lengths to find on Garde Champetre but he is the kind of horse that could always win by two lengths - he travels so easily over the course and always seems to just do enough in front.

“Sizing Australia had a leg injury last season and so we decided to give him some time off to recover. He has yet to win over conventional fences but he has been running against some good horses.

“He was fourth in a decent novice chase at Clonmel last September before he got injured, when he just tired in the closing stages and he ran on heavy ground on his three subsequent starts, which didn’t really suit him in the really competitive races. I don’t think that softer ground would be such a massive disadvantage in a cross country race, but he is definitely a better ground horse.

“He is only a seven-year-old and I think that his future is in these kinds of contests. Alan and Ann Potts (the owners) really enjoy watching horses run over cross country courses and it’s great that the top festivals such as Cheltenham and Punchestown put the races on.”

Since its introduction in 2001, the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase has become one of the highlights of the Boylesports International. Course specialist and Cheltenham favourite Spot Thedifference landed the spoils for legendary cross country trainer Enda Bolger in 2004 and won the contest for a second time in 2006, when his rivals included subsequent Grand National winner Silver Birch.

Co Meath-based Tony Martin sent over Wonderkid to triumph in 2007, while Bolger completed a hat-trick of Irish successes last season as Garde Champetre defeated stable-companion L’Ami by a length and a quarter. Content

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