Sizing Europe registered his third victory of the campaign with a determined performance in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown.
Henry de Bromhead's stable star was a 1-3 favourite to add to his Grade One tally and was disputing the lead with Rubi Light throughout the two-mile-one-furlong test.
Despite travelling noticeably better than his closest rival heading down the back straight, some fine leaps from Rubi Light kept him in contention. Sizing Europe and Andrew Lynch looked set to ease clear from the home turn, but it was hard work in the testing conditions and Rubi Light galloped on tenaciously to make the market leader pull out all the stops.
British raider Edgardo Sol was third.
De Bromhead said: "That was great, we're very lucky to have him, he makes training a lot easier. You wouldn't really want him to be taking a hold like he did there over two miles (but) he loves this game, he just loves it. I'm very relieved as when you are 1-3 (favourite), second is disappointing.
"It's great to win that race now and we'll work on from there to Cheltenham. I don't know what we are going to do yet. He could possibly be entered in the three big chases (Gold Cup, Queen Mother Champion Chase and Ryanair) at Cheltenham. For me he's looking far more like a stayer this year so we'll see, it's all a long way away yet. We'll try to get him there first.
"His performance in the Clonmel Oil was great, certainly more impressive than today, and maybe he needs two and a half miles now. He could go for something like the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park. We'll have to have a think about it."
Lynch said: "Sizing Europe has been a very good horse to me. He was very fresh in the race early on and was running a bit keen. Rubi Light was jumping great alongside us and both of them are in fact very good horses to jump.
"He started to idle a bit out in front on his own but at least he won. He felt the ground very dead, he's way better on good ground but he got away with it today. He stays well, he did it well."
Stan James and Paddy Power left Sizing Europe unchanged at 7-1 for the Queen Mother.
26 February 2015Safety strikes in Zabeel Mile
Fehily confirms Zarkandar mount
Lieutenant bosses Purcell rivals
Dettori delights on Dubday
Many Clouds goes back to school
Maguire loses appeal
New One at ease for Faugheen clash
Foxrock still in Gold Cup picture
Higgins back in business
Cookie poised for April return
Apache ready to take flight in JLT
Silvi threat unsettles Riches camp
No going concerns at Cheltenham
Fry resigned to Fehily Ruby loss
Trip key to Balder success - King
McLernon gets nod for Holywell
Salsify leads Foxhunter field
Mullins unveils Bumper entry
Curtis hoping for Cross revival
Aurore misses Mares' date
25 February 2015Ton-up for in-form Pipe
Big display from George veteran
Credit to join the Premier league
Jack to duck Grimthorpe date
Tea preparing for National tilt
Geraghty rates Whisper World claims
George retains Module faith
Uramazin ready to go again
Coney team wait on Festival call
Aintree on Ceremony agenda
Silvi is all Gold - Nicholls
Bright Clouds gets serious
Puffin swoops at Leicester
Nicholls: Rheu call tough for Sam
Nicholls suffers Hinterland blow
Own on Cheltenham trail
BHA issues new anti-doping rules
Walsh hoping for a Champagne moment
That ruled out of World bid
24 February 2015Carr revved up for National service
Draycott Festival plans shelved
Knott to appeal three-year ban
Conti at fever pitch for Gold Cup
Fiddes seeking Movie gift
Generous praise for Ransom
No regrets for Doyle
O'Regan rates Stark claims
Fortt wins stable staff gong
Festival aim for Keevil's Legend
Nothing slow about Best's Foot
Duke toppled at Ayr
Serge bids for Festival flyer
Filleule has 'realistic chance'
Henderson: Sprinter 'spot on'
Time beats Henderson with That
Jacob rates Reve chance
Twiston-Davies eager for Rocky ride
Beltor likely for Triumph bid
23 February 2015Fahey's Fab Four at Wolverhampton
Ryanair backs Fairyhouse feature
Mogol in Cheltenham equation
Fairyhouse option for Kilcooley
No hurry for Berbas plan
Waterlogging claims Lingfield card
Plumpton gets go-ahead
Empire strikes back at Naas
Duchess rules on Morgan swansong
Kilcooley shows the right spirit
Two tracks to inspect
Wadham keeping Reve for Sandown
Fahey hoping Owega can star
Moore confident of bold Sire show
Ellison harbours Lincoln dream
Dettori set to have his Toast