Sizing the Real Deal

Sat, Nov 6, 2010

Best Bets

I’m keeping faith in Sizing Europe today. His comeback run was disappointing and inconclusive on the face of it but will in fact give him a vital leg up in to today’s race at Down Royal.

Andrew Lynch told me the other day that Sizing Europe ‘badly’ needed that run at Punchestown and I expect him to strip a stone fitter today. He is a very very serious racehorse on his day with one of the most exciting and powerful engines around. He loves to jump and his stamina is the only question mark at this stage.

At 33/1 for the Gold Cup I still maintain he’s the right ante post bet in a division which is ripe for a changing of the guard. I expect him to go very close at Down Royal today and anticipate some skinny Gold Cup quotes post race as a result.

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12 Responses to “Sizing the Real Deal”

  1. ken cambs Says:

    My bet on Sizing last month was one of those rare moments when I take a short price, Sean, and it did seem that he was not fully tuned-up. The earlier Bromhead runner that day, though winning, also seemed to be lacking full fitness.

    Will China upset the party again though? He’s a year younger and might have more progression to come. It promises to be an intriguing tactical race and though Kauto is the class act I have my doubts about today. Only two full runs last season plus a fall. He scraped home on his debut leaving question marks about his jumping confidence. Is he likely to be right at the top of his game today? I very much doubt it.

    You don’t mind if I take you on in your selection do you please Sean? Add a bit of spice to things maybe. But here we go, the astute racing presenter, scholar and gentleman versus the tired, old ragged-trousered philanthropist: 1) China Rock
    2) Sizing
    Pulled Up=Kauto

  2. Halfway To Nowhere Says:

    Kauto Star is, by all accounts, absolutely bouncing and if that’s true he won’t need to be within a stone-and-a-half of his best to win this. He jumps, he travels, he quickens and he responds; can the same be said of Sizing Europe? He does jump well and he does travel, but has he got enough in his arsenal to be able to stave off the attentions of a horse like Kauto Star?

    I’m struggling to see it, even if he does stay. Kauto Star isn’t worth backing at 4/6 – odds-on isn’t my bag – but it’ll be a joy to watch him waltz to victory on the way to a fifth King George.

  3. ken cambs Says:

    Well done HTN. I was wrong.

  4. seanboyce Says:

    Interesting race. From the very first fence onwards Sizing was not jumping with his usual appetite and fluency. He met only a few of the fences well in the whole race and looked sticky, cautious and sometimes uncomfortable. Given how poorly he travelled compared to normal and how much ground he covered I thought he ran pretty well. It may be he just wasn’t able to jump well out of this very soft ground. Be interesting to see what connections decide. In terms of stamina I thought he hit a flat spot and then ran on again at the death. On better ground and allowed to attack his fences we’ll see whether he is a match for Kauto. Given the various shortcomings of his performance today I was actually quite pleased. He can be a lot better than he showed today.

  5. Halfway To Nowhere Says:

    I think you’re looking for what isn’t there, Sean; he just wasn’t good enough against a horse we know will come on for the run. Can you honestly see Sizing Europe challenging Kauto Star at either Kempton or Cheltenham?

  6. seanboyce Says:

    You may be right!
    Time will tell I guess. I’d be wary of assuming that KS will ‘come on for the run’. The same argument was used re his form with Imperial Commander first time out last year and IC took the Gold Cup of course. KS looked a million dollars today I thought and given he will run 3 times/ 4 times max he’ll be A1 each time I expect.
    I’ve watched all of Sizing’s runs and that wasn’t the real SE in terms of how he jumped. There is of course no guarantee that he will return to the kind of jumping enthusiasm he’s shown in the past and he has thrown in a few below par runs (including when winning last year).My take on it is that KS ran well and won. SE ran badly and went down by 4l. Proximity of China Rock would be a worry though for both Sizing and for Kauto. Henry de Bromhead knows how much he has to work on and I’d take my cue from where they go next. They can always step back to the Q mum trip but if they keep at 3m I’d certainly still take the threat seriously. He’s not the easiest to get right I don’t think but they brought him to a peak at the right time last year so we’ll see.

  7. Halfway To Nowhere Says:

    I think Kauto Star is just ‘one of those horses’, Sean; he always looks magnificent. All I know is that no matter how slim someone may be, if they haven’t trained for a while they’re going to ache like crazy after a session at the gym (golf, followed by a pint and a bacon baguette forms the bulk of my current exercise regime, by the way).

    But has Kauto Star ever returned in peak condition? He was beaten by Monet’s Garden in the Old Roan in 2007, cantered over relative trees at Down Royal in 2008 and was made to dig incredibly deep by Imperial Commander at Haydock last year. History says that he needs that first run of the season and I’d suggest that that’s likely to be even more true now he’s approaching the tender age of 11.

    As reactions to Zenyatta’s defeat tonight have shown – the crowd beat her for me, not Mike Smith – emotion is beginning to play a much bigger part in horse racing. I can see why an animal like Sizing Europe would endear himself to the crowd, but it is that ‘connection’ which perhaps leads us to look for something that simply doesn’t exist. I could well be doing it in my appraisal of Kauto Star – I’ve only been more fond of Azertyuiop and Jair Du Cochet since I started following the sport – but until the form book says otherwise I’m inclined to side with precedence.

  8. seanboyce Says:

    Ah, a fellow Jair du Cochet fan! That’s something we can agree on!

  9. Halfway To Nowhere Says:

    He was some horse, wasn’t he? Athletic and powerful with an effortless grace; and whilst his RSA Chase defeat is best not talked about, the annihilation of Best Mate at Huntingdon was an absolute joy.

    His untimley demise – as is true of Le Sauvignon – still leaves me wondering about what might have been.

    And please accept my apologies for my previous response, Sean. Reading back what I wrote, it appears that I’m being rather dismissive of your opinions; that certainly wasn’t my intention. There are three, perhaps four, members of the racing media who have my unyielding respect and admiration (not a great honour to bestow upon anyone, but still) and you’re very much top of that list.

  10. DenLon Says:

    I was also a Jair Du Cochet fan, despite the cab hailing Jacques Ricou, the horse had some engine.
    I agree Sean, we are due a changing of the guard. Saying that, I can’t see past Kauto Star for the King George, although running in The Hennessy 4 weeks beforehand would concern me. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Long Run this weekend, if there is to be a changing of the guard, surely this is the horse.

    I wonder what horses you and others that post here are going to follow this season? Mine are Sanctuaire, Captain Chris, Zaidpour & Coole River

  11. seanboyce Says:

    Den, poor old Jacques used to get so much stick from british pundits that I once put him up for jockey of the year on the old ATR just to wind everyone up. french have a different – more sypathetic?- style. Not to everyone’s taste but their jumpers often lasted well!
    HtN, don’t be daft. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions and you may well be right in your comments. As ever in this game, only time and the outcome of races will tell! One of the reasons I don’t feel compelled to labour my own views when broadcasting is I assume everyone watching knows at least as much as me and I know full well that many know a great deal more. Same goes here.

  12. ken cambs Says:

    …..I know full well that many know a great deal more. Same goes here.

    Thanks for the credit, Sean. Very noble of you.

    (chuckles to himself and thinks…I wish)

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