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Last Updated: November 14, 2012 4:41pm
Sizing Europe: Faces just four rivals at Clonmel
Henry de Bromhead has no concerns about the prospect of soft ground for Sizing Europe ahead of Thursday's Clonmel Oil Chase.
The 2011 Queen Mother Champion Chase winner is set to make his second start of the campaign in the Grade Two contest, having made a winning return at Gowran Park.
De Bromhead took the 10-year-old out of the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal earlier this month as he felt three miles on rain-sodden ground would sap his stamina.
However, conditions are not such a worry this time as he comes back in trip on a track the trainer believes will suit.
"Our feeling is that the ground is not such a big issue over two and a half miles," said the County Waterford trainer.
"Three miles in soft ground, after witnessing last year at Down Royal, we didn't want to see that again.
"We'd love to see him over three miles on good ground one day and just see what he can do.
"Two and a half should be fine. At two and a half last year at Down Royal he was all over the winner.
"I think Clonmel should be fine for him, it's a nice downhill run there. He hasn't run there before but I think he'll like it.
"He schooled around there a few times, they were very helpful when we were first going chasing so he knows the place."
De Bromhead confirmed Sizing Europe will not be heading to Sandown to defend his Tingle Creek crown early next month, with the trainer instead electing to keep his powder dry for the Festive period.
"We won't go to the Tingle Creek, we're aiming towards Christmas," he told At The Races.
"He's been entered for the King George, he'll be entered for the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown and he'll also be entered for the Lexus and we'll see what the ground is like.
"He's in mighty form and looks amazing."
Jockey Andrew Lynch is looking forward to teaming up with Sizing Europe and expects soft ground over two and a mile half miles at Clonmel to be well within his compass following his first run of the season at Gowran.
"I can't wait. He seems in great form. It was a blessing in disguise he didn't go to the north (Down Royal), but two and a half miles on soft ground should be all right for him. I'd like to think my lad would take a bit of beating.
"He did it well in Gowran. It was a true-run race that day so hopefully if everything goes to plan tomorrow he should win."
Sizing Europe faces just four rivals at Clonmel, with Tranquil Sea bidding to win the race for the third successive year for trainer Edward O'Grady, while Mouse Morris has no concerns regarding the conditions for his runner Rathlin.
Morris believes his charge will appreciate the soft ground more than some of the opposition and reports the seven-year-old to be approaching his peak after two runs last month.
"He's come on a bit from Naas and going the right way now," said the County Tipperary trainer.
"There's only five runners and there's nice place money there. It will be soft but it will suit him better than a few of them, that's for sure."
The Martin Hassett-trained Let Yourself Go was runner-up to Tranquil Sea two years ago and the County Tipperary permit holder reports the 10-year-old to be in tip-top shape following his recent run at Cork.
"We were delighted with the way he rain in Cork the last day," he said.
"Shane (Hassett), my nephew who rides him, knows him better than anyone else and he's over the moon with him. He was giving Pires nearly 2st and was not beaten that far.
"We are going there for a bit of prize-money tomorrow. Being realistic Sizing Europe is the one to beat, but there is other money there and the horse is in great shape. He's never been better and he goes on any ground."
Dessie Hughes' Magnanimity completes the quintet.