Harrington Sizing up more Gold

13 February 2017 21:57:31 GMTPlus11

Jessica Harrington has put the Cheltenham Gold Cup top of Sizing John's agenda after he proved his stamina when winning the Irish version at Leopardstown.

Formerly trained by Henry De Bromhead and one of the most consistent two-mile chasers around, Sizing John won last month's Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles on his second start since switching to Harrington's yard.

That win over two-and-a-half miles and the style it was achieved in convinced the trainer to try her luck in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown over three miles and her confidence in Sizing John's stamina was rewarded with a Grade One prize.

Under Robbie Power, he travelled smoothly throughout and arrived on the heels of the leaders at the final fence. He hit the front on landing and galloped relentlessly to the winning post as he saw off Gordon Elliott's pair Empire Of Dirt and Don Poli with hat-trick seeking Carlingford Lough only able to finish fourth on this occasion.

The victory earned Sizing John a quote of 9/1 for next month's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Harrington wants to consult owners Ann and Alan Potts before committing to her festival target but the Blue Ribband appeals much more than the prospect of facing old foe Douvan at two miles in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

"He jumped really well and he was just brilliant. Once he went past two-and-a-half miles we knew he was into unknown territory, but we fully expected he would stay three miles and he did. I'd say we'll be going for the Gold Cup. I don't know, as I haven't spoken to Alan and Ann yet," Harrington said.

"He looks like a three-mile chaser rather than a two-miler. Seven times he's been beaten by Douvan, second five times and third twice.

"He's in all three races at Cheltenham so we'll see what happens. He'll be coming out of the Champion Chase though!"

Meanwhile Saturday's Denman Chase winner Native River is 5/2 for Gold Cup success while his Colin Tizzard-trained stablemate and King George winner Thistlecrack is currently available at 7/4.

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