Sizing John wins Irish Gold Cup thriller
Sizing John: out on his own in the Irish Gold Cup
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) Sizing John wins Irish Gold Cup thriller
By Bruce Jackson 3:28PM 12 FEB 2017
Report: Leopardstown, Sunday
Stan James Irish Gold Cup (Grade 1) 5yo+ 3m 6oyd
SIZING John stepped out of the shadow of the mighty Douvan to take Grade 1 glory for himself as he repulsed the Gigginstown team headed by Empire Of Dirt and Don Poli in a thrilling finish.
The Kinloch Brae winner was always travelling well off a steady pace set by Road To Riches and Don Poli but five were covered by a couple of lengths jumping the last where More Of That fell.
Robbie Power, just back from injury, drove him out to beat Empire Of Dirt, who finished strongly after being held up in the rear, by three-quarters of a length with Don Poli the same distance back in third.
Carlingford Lough, chasing a historic hat-trick in the race, was unsuited by the steady pace and was untidy early in a detached last but he poked his nose in off the home turn only to be outpaced in finishing fourth.
Winning trainer Jessica Harrington, saddling her first runner in the race, said: "I was a bit worried about that ground as he would prefer better ground.
"He didn't win by far but wasn't stopping and saw it out really well."
The seven-year-old holds three entries at the Cheltenham Festival but is unlikely to try the impossible again of beating Douvan with the Timico Gold Cup or Ryanair the choice that will be left to owners Alan and Ann Potts.
"He's proved he stays 3m but whether he will 3m2f I don't know but on better ground he might." added Harrington.
Sizing John was cut to 12 from 25 for the Gold Cup by Corals with Paddy Power going further into 10-1.