Wednesday 24 October 2018

Harrington confirms 'John' for Leopardstown bid

Trainer Jessica Harrington. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Trainer Jessica Harrington. Photo: Doug O'Connor

Thomas Kelly

Jessica Harrington has confirmed Sizing John as a definite runner in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase.

The €150,000 highlight, formerly known as the Lexus, looks set to be a real Christmas cracker with Yorkhill also expected to line up.

Sizing John re-appeared with an easy win in the John Durkan Chase, continuing his progression after winning three Gold Cups at Leopardstown, Cheltenham and Punchestown last season.

"He's definitely running," Harrington confirmed.

"I'm happy with everything now we've got the first run of the season out of the way. He won on heavy at Punchestown (John Durkan Chase) so I don't mind what the ground will be like at Leopardstown."

Noel Meade, meanwhile, has announced that Disko will run at Leopardstown rather than taking up his entry in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

A dual Grade One winner as a novice over fences last season, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned grey made a successful seasonal reappearance in a Grade Two contest at Down Royal last month.

Dan Skelton's Ch'Tibello will not make the journey to Ireland for the Ryanair Hurdle on December 29.

The six-year-old made a fine re-appearance at Cheltenham last weekend when beaten three lengths into fourth by My Tent Or Yours in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham.

He remained in contention for the Grade One and a clash with former champion hurdler Faugheen at Wednesday's forfeit stage but a minor setback has ruled him out of the contest.

Leopardstown's chief executive Pat Keogh said: "The ground is yielding at the moment and I have to say the track looks absolutely magnificent."

Elsewhere, Willie Mullins' Bleu Et Rouge, the mount of Barry Geraghty, Tom Mullins' Top Othe Ra and Veinard from Gordon Elliott's stable will run in the Handicap Hurdle at Ascot tomorrow.

Elliott has been responsible for two winners in the past five renewals, courtesy of Cause Of Causes in 2012 and Bayan in 2014.

Last year's runner-up Raz De Maree heads the Irish challenge at the latest confirmation stage for Coral Welsh Grand National.

Gavin Cromwell's 12-year-old could be joined on the journey across the Irish Sea by Noel Meade's Bonny Kate and Folsom Blue from Elliott's yard.

Vicente is at the head of the weights for the Chepstow marathon after 33 horses stood their ground.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Scottish National hero will shoulder the welter burden off 11st 12lb if taking up his entry next Wednesday.

Irish Independent

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