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Last Updated: March 17, 2011 7:35am
Sizing Europe storms to Champion Chase glory from Big Zeb at Cheltenham
Sizing Europe (10-1) was an easy winner of the sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday.
Andrew Lynch took up the running on last year's Arkle winner at an early stage and the pair saw off all comers including reigning champion Big Zeb (3-1) who was a five-length second.
Master Minded was sent off the 2-1 favourite but he was unplaced after a bad error at the second last.
Captain Cee Bee (14-1) stayed on for third.
Lynch said: "I'm delighted and the horse jumped an awful lot better today. "He travelled really well and I was afraid something might just quicken past me up the straight, but he's a hardy boy.
"Henry always said he wanted a strongly-run, two-mile race, and this is the only race all year that suits him."
De Bromhead said: "He's a good horse to have around and it's been an unbelievable week.
"I'm very lucky to have good horses. This fellow was electric and Andrew gave him a brilliant ride again.
"The horse is amazing and we have a great team behind us."
The trainer continued: "Andrew was phenomenal on him. He has no turn of foot, he just gallops and gallops so you have to just let him go.
"They weren't going fast enough so Andrew took him up and he jumped great, apart from the second-last.
"We always said the King George would be our decision-maker over three miles but when that was off, we thought he was proven here so we might as well go for it. We decided that in mid-January.
"Ground makes such a difference to him, he just bounces off it.
"He was so quiet this morning that I said to his lass he's either dead or in a very chilled-out zone.
"We were praying it was a chilled-out zone, which it was."
Colm Murphy said of Big Zeb: "He ran a cracker and I'm delighted with him. "He could have done with the ground being a bit quicker, but the winner was very good.
"I imagine we will freshen him up and look at Punchestown."
Paul Nicholls felt the ground was too lively for Master Minded, saying: "He made a bad mistake but he wouldn't have won, and like last year I think the ground was too quick.
"On that performance you would have to say he is not as good as he was, these days he might be better over two and a half miles.
"We will look at Aintree and next year I suspect we will end up in the King George."
Eddie Harty said of third home, Captain Cee Bee: "He ran a blinder, the ground was a bit dead but that would also have been the case for the first two.
"I think he was beaten by two better horses.
"He won't go to Aintree, but Punchestown is a possibility."