Trainer predicts Europe revival
Trainer Henry de Bromhead is hopeful dual Cheltenham Festival winner Sizing Europe will bounce back to form at this year's Festival.
Winner of the 2010 Arkle Trophy before claiming Champion Chase glory 12 months later, the six-times Grade One scorer finished outside the first three for the first time over fences in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown last month.
While the 12-year-old may not be the force he once was, his trainer remains keen on a return to the Festival, with Sizing Europe set to head straight to the Cheltenham Festival in March.
De Bromhead said: "Europe is in super form. He'll have the two entries in Cheltenham and we'll see which way we go nearer the time.
"I don't think there were any excuses for his last run. He was beaten fair and square on the day.
"I think I probably got the tactics a bit wrong, but he came out of the race well. We know he loves Cheltenham and better ground. I don't think he'll have another run before Cheltenham. We'll get him there nice and fresh and see how he goes."
Also part of De Bromhead's Festival team is Shanahan's Turn, who made a big impression when scoring over hurdles at the second time of asking at Leopardstown's Christmas Festival.
The Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle is on his radar.
"He's a nice horse and I think we'll probably give him an entry in the Neptune," said the County Waterford handler.
"He's a light-framed horse, so I think we'll also go straight there (to Cheltenham) with him and have him nice and fresh. It will obviously be a big step up, but we'll give it a go."