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A Sizing Network

This was much more like it from A Sizing Network, who put up a nice performance to finish third in the two-mile beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday.

Sent straight to the front from flagfall by Jonathan Burke, Henry de Bromhead’s horse’s jumping was safe and assured in the main, and exuberant on occasion. He made a significant error at the sixth fence, the fence that greeted them as they turned down the back straight, and he had his lead reduced from two lengths to a half a length as a result, but he quickly recovered his equilibrium and he was back bowling along in front, ears pricked. Just niggled along around the home turn as his two closest pursuers, King Of The Picts and Gambling Girl, came under pressure, he looked by far the most likely winner when he jumped the second last fence two lengths clear, still with his ears pricked. He got in tight to the last, however, and that allowed his two main rivals close right up on him, and pass him on the run-in. He went down by a length and three quarters and a neck in the end.

It was still a fine performance, and it was a step up on his two previous runs over fences, in May at Ballinrobe when he unseated early, and in August at Killarney when he was well beaten.

He was a promising novice hurdler last season, his season culminating in a fine run at the Punchestown Festival to finish a close second to the well-backed Bog War in a competitive two-mile handicap hurdle off a mark of 122 and under top weight.

A fairly fortuitous winner of his only point-to-point, the Network gelding only ran four times over hurdles last season, and he achieved a rating of 130 by the end of it. He is built and bred for fences, so he should be able to surpass his hurdles rating by a fair way. He is bred to have the pace for two miles, but he races like he will get further. He is only five, he is in the right hands and, all going well, his best days are ahead of him.

10th October 2015