Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Sizing Europe still on course

Sizing Europe remains on target for next month's Open meeting at Cheltenham following his hugely impressive success at Punchestown two weeks ago.

The Grade One-winning hurdler took his record over fences to two victories from two starts when defeating the mercurial Harchibald by 17 lengths.

The Independent Newspaper Novices' Chase on November 15 is the plan for Henry de Bromhead's stable star and the trainer is thrilled with his current condition.

“He's been in great form since Punchestown and hopefully there is still improvement.”

The Grade Two event looks set to be highly informative, with Paul Nicholls' Tataniano another possible, along with the Philip Hobbs-trained Snap Tie.

Meanwhile, novice chaser Trafford Lad will have his first run for fledgling trainer Laurence Butler in the Poplar Square Chase at Naas tomorrow. For the last two seasons, the seven-year-old has been in the care of Dusty Sheehy, where Butler has been head lad for four years.

Butler is now ready to start his own training career and, as Trafford Lad is owned by his family, he starts off with a talented horse.

“I've worked for Dusty for a good 10 years and have been head lad there for four, but I've decided to start training myself this season,” said Butler.

“I thought it was a good time as I'm lucky to have a horse like Trafford Lad to go ahead with.

“There are six of us in the family and we all own shares in him, so I just thought I might as well start training now than wait until Trafford Lad has retired. Otherwise you could be waiting a lifetime for a horse like that to come along.

“He's absolutely flying at the moment so he'll run on Saturday, all being well. It's only two miles which is probably a bit sharp for him, but I want to get a run into him before we look at running him in the Hennessy.

“It's a competitive race this weekend but it should set up nicely for Newbury and after that, hopefully we'll be able to make a plan for him.”

Meanwhile, Vic Venturi secured his first victory in exactly three years when making every yard of the running in the Wilderness Chase at Clonmel yesterday.

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