Sizing Europe“THE horse of a lifetime.” That’s how Henry de Bromhead described Sizing
Europe after he announced the retirement of the brilliant chaser last week.
In a dazzling career that spanned nine seasons, Sizing Europe won eight Grade
One races including successive triumphs at the Cheltenham Festival in the 2010
Arkle and the 2011 Queen Mother Champion Chase.
He was also an unlucky loser of the 2012 Champion Chase, one and a quarter
lengths behind Finian’s Rainbow after the last fence had been dolled off and
fi nished second in 2013 behind the exceptional Sprinter Sacre.
Sizing Europe’s other notable victories included a spectacular eight lengths
win over Hardy Eustace in the 2008 Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown and
an equally impressive win in the 2011 Tingle Creek at Sandown.
Sizing Europe ran his fi rst race at Leopardstown on March 5th, 2006 where he
fi nished second in a bumper behind De Valira. He disappointed somewhat in his
next bumper two months later at Limerick where he could only fi nish fi fth behind
Gleann An Sagart but made amends on his seasonal re-appearance in October by
defeating Rinroe to win a bumper at Naas.
Sizing Europe’s fi rst attempt over hurdles resulted in an impressive maiden
hurdle win at the Hennessy Gold Cup meeting in Newbury and he then embarked
on a run of success over the next seven years where he made the frame no less
than 29 times from 34 attempts.
He fell only once, over hurdles at Punchestown in October 2007 when
ridden by Ruby Walsh for the one and only time.
De Bromhead explained the reasons behind the decision to retire the
multiple Grade One winner.
“We gave it a good bit of thought and we’re happy that he’s retiring
in one piece. He’s had a great career and there have been so many great
days it would be diffi cult to say one was the highlight.
“We had some great days in Cheltenham but there were also great
days in Punchestown, Leopardstown and Sandown.
“He’s going to take part in the racehorse to riding shows now.
There are some great days in Ireland during the summer and he’ll go
to Rosemary Connors to do that, who did all his fl at work with him.”
Having won the Gold Cup at Punchestown in 2014 Sizing
Europe returned for another campaign and began with his fourth
win in the PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park in October.
After an emotional success at Punchestown at the end of last
season, the veteran was brought back for another campaign and
made a successful return by winning his fourth PWC Champion
Chase at Gowran Park in early October.
However, he fi nished a disappointing sixth of seven
behind Champagne Fever in the Clonmel Oil Chase last
November and seventh of nine in the Champion Chase at
Cheltenham in March.
Andrew Lynch steered Sizing Europe to 15 of his 17
victories over fences and will cherish the big days they
enjoyed together.
He said: “He’s been unbelievable for my career and we had
some fantastic days.
“There were the two winners at Cheltenham and then for him to
go and win in Punchestown last year just capped it all off.
“He was just a brilliant horse with a massive heart”.
In all Sizing Europe won 22 of his 45 races and earned over £1.3million
in prize-money.