herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Johnny Burke is eagerly looking forward to his first scheduled ride on Sizing Europe in the PWC Champion Chase at Gowran on October 4.

Johnny Burke is eagerly looking forward to his first scheduled ride on Sizing Europe in the PWC Champion Chase at Gowran on October 4.

Although now 12, the gelding is the jewel in the crown of Burke's new job, which is as first rider to owners Alan and Ann Potts.

The teenaged rising star of Irish jumping is still a conditional, but has taken over one of the most important retainers from Andrew Lynch.

The Grade Two event is Sizing Europe's traditional pipe-opener, and he has won it for the last three years.

Nearly written-off as being too old, Henry de Bromhead's veteran brought the house down when winning the Punchestown Champion Chase last April and it was decided he would stay in training.

"I've been pinching myself, I've had a great start and I'm really looking forward to the winter," Burke said.

"Hopefully in two weeks I'll be riding Sizing Europe. I've not sat on him yet, but I've been putting in plenty of work at home watching his runs.

"You've grown up watching Sizing Europe running in all these big races, and now I'm riding him and all these young horses in the graded races.

"Being a young lad growing up, that's where you want to be. I'm really looking forward to it, it's Sizing Europe's race and hopefully he'll collect it again."

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