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Sizing grabs cross-country spoils

Henry De Bromhead's Sizing Australia held off cross-country specialist Garde Champetre to take top honours in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

Maljimar was sent off favourite for the three-mile-seven-furlong contest and travelled ominously well for Daryl Jacob throughout, cruising up to challenge for the lead in the straight.

But as his petrol tank quickly dropped to zero, it was Sizing Australia (13-2) who took up the running and set sail for home up the final hill, holding on by a length and a quarter as five-time course winner and top-weight Garde Champetre went in pursuit.

Winning jockey Andrew Lynch said: "Last year we were unlucky when we were knocked over turning in, but he's very gutsy. He's only a young horse compared to Enda Bolger's horse. He's done it well and he jumps for fun."

De Bromhead added: "It's brilliant and he deserved it. He's been placed a few times and it's great to get it for Alan and Ann (Potts, owners). He got hampered last year, but we didn't make enough use of him and that was my fault.

"I told Andrew to ride him however he wants today and it just show you should leave it to the jockey!"

Garde Champetre's trainer Bolger said: "He's run his heart out and it just shows how tough he is. He had a lot of weight.

"Sizing Australia has been knocking on the door a few times, so you've got to give him his due.

"Our horse was running on at the end and although it's back to the drawing board, it looks like there's plenty of life in him yet."

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