HENRY DE BROMHEAD’S Sizing Europe bounced back from his Cheltenham disappointment to take the feature race on the first day of the Punchestown Festival, the Boylesports.com Champion Chase.
Heavy rainfall in Co Kildare made for testing conditions and Sizing Europe was sent off 8/13 favourite with his usual partner Andrew Lynch on board for the two-mile contest.
Realt Dubh (6/1), ridden by Paul Carberry, finished two-and-a-quarter lengths back in second with defending champion Big Zeb (13/2) coming home a distant third.
It was third time lucky in the race for Sizing Europe who made amends for his runner-up finish behind Big Zeb in 2011 and his third place to Golden Silver in 2010.
There was a minor upset in the opening Grade 1 race on the card as 4/7 shot Trifolium was edged out by Alderwood (5/2), trained by Thomas Mullins and ridden by AP McCoy.
An impressive third in the Supreme Novices’ at Cheltenham, Trifolium was well-supported in the markets and looked to have the race won when he kicked clear after the second last.
But Alderwood reeled him in after the final flight and got up to win by a half-length, with the Willie Mullins-trained Simenon finished seven lengths back in third.
In the final Grade 1 of the day, the Growise Champion Novice Chase, hot favourite Sir Des Champs (2/7) survived a nervy blunder when crashing through the last to win from Shop DJ and Ordinary Man.
- 3.40 — 1st Big Shu (8/1); 2nd Boxer Georg (5/2 JFav); 3rd Zest for Life (6/1)
- 4.20 — 1st Alderwood (5/2 2Fav); 2nd Trifolium (4/7 Fav); 3rd Simenon (16/1)
- 4.55 — 1st Snap Tie (16/1); 2nd Benash (25/1); 3rd Satu (22/1)
- 5.30 — 1st Sizing Europe (8/13 Fav); 2nd Realt Dubh (6/1 2Fav); 3rd Big Zeb (13/2)
- 6.05 — 1st Some Article (16/1); 2nd Catamongdepidgeons (9/2); 3rd Hurricane Lauren (25/1)
- 6.40 — 1st Sir Des Champs (2/7 Fav); 2nd Shop DJ (18/1); 3rd Ordinary Man (33/1)
- 7.15 — 1st Grand Jesture (25/1); 2nd Director’s Forum (16/1); 3rd The Big Easy (3/1 Fav)