Horses To Follow » Sizing John
Sizing John was very good in winning the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown last Sunday.
Always travelling well for Robbie Power, a little keenly if anything, his jumping was really good throughout, and he moved up on the outside of Don Poli on the run around the home turn. He jumped the final fence well, and he stayed on strongly up the hill to get home by three parts of a length and the same from Empire Of Dirt and Don Poli.
This was Sizing John’s first attempt at three miles, and he passed the test well. They did not go a great gallop from flagfall, so you could argue that his stamina was not tested to the maximum, but the sedate pace may not have been a positive, given how well he travelled, given how keen he was. There is a chance that he could even improve off a stronger pace.
Jessica Harrington’s horse stayed two and a half miles well on his previous run, he out-stayed Sub Lieutenant to win the Kinloch Brae Chase, and he probably improved again for the step up to three miles here.
Connections were talking about the Cheltenham Gold Cup after the race, and he deserves to take his chance in that now. He was a high-class novice hurdler two seasons ago, and he was a high-class novice chaser last season. His jumping has always been superb, and, probably at his best on goodish ground, he should improve on his Leopardstown run on the better ground that he should get at Cheltenham. And we know that he can operate under Cheltenham Festival conditions, given that he was third in a Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and second to Douvan in an Arkle in two runs there. Also, he is only seven, he has scope still to progress as a staying chaser.
We don’t know for sure that he will stay three miles and two and a half furlongs, but he stayed three miles on soft ground at Leopardstown. Also, he is by Midnight Legend and his dam won hurdle races over two and a half miles, so there is every chance that he will. And remember, Kicking King and War Of Attrition and Best Mate were all two-mile novice chasers before they stepped up in trip and won the Gold Cup.
12th February 2017