Sizing John lands Brae prize

Sizing John came home best to claim top honours in the Ladbrokes Ireland Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles.

Jessica Harrington: Thinking of Cheltenham with Sizing John

Recently-retired Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack had claimed the last two renewals of the Grade Two contest and his owners, Gigginstown House Stud, were responsible for the 11-10 favourite Sub Lieutenant, trained by Henry de Bromhead.

Sizing John, a former inmate of De Bromhead's but now with Jessica Harrington, was a 3-1 shot to get back on the winning trail, having been placed behind the brilliant Douvan for the seventh time at Leopardstown over the festive period.

Smashing took the six-strong field along for much of the two-and-a-half-mile journey, with Sub Lieutenant and Sizing John his closest pursuers.

Sub Lieutenant hit the front before the home turn and looked to have matters in hand under David Mullins, but Sizing John responded to Robbie Power's urgings and quickened up well as the pair went by the omitted final fence to get up and score by two and a half lengths.

Black Hercules boxed on for third after being under pressure a long way from home.

Power said: "When I rode him in Leopardstown over two miles – I know Douvan was in there – I was flat to the boards the whole way.

""This time he was so laid-back the whole way. I knew I had plenty left and he has that bit of speed, as well. I knew when I gave him a squeeze he'd pick up and he galloped all the way to the line. He's so lazy in a race, I think he'd get any trip. The Ryanair Chase looks made for him this year, I'd imagine."

Sky Bet reacted to the performance by having him price to 10/1 for that Cheltenham race.

Harrington said: "He was very relaxed all the way through the race, and Robert said when he popped the fence after turning into the straight that he was always going to pick up.

"I'm delighted with him stepping up to two and a half miles, and he got the trip very well. I'll have to speak with Alan and Ann (Potts, owners) to see where we go next with him.

"He has an entry in the Irish Gold Cup or he could go to the Red Mills at Gowran, and he's in every race at Cheltenham. You would imagine he is likely to go for the Ryanair put we will have to wait and see."

The final fence was omitted as jockey Phillip Enright was attended to by medics after suffering a heavy fall from Letter Of Credit on the first circuit.

Enright later got to his feet.Harrington said: "He was very relaxed all the way through the race, and Robert said when he popped the fence after turning into the straight that he was always going to pick up."I'm delighted with him stepping up to two and a half miles, and he got the trip very well."I'll have to speak with Alan and Ann (Potts, owners) to see where we go next with him."He has an entry in the Irish Gold Cup or he could go to the Red Mills at Gowran, and he's in every race at Cheltenham."You would imagine he is likely to go for the Ryanair put we will have to wait and see."

Read More at Sporting Life

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