Saturday 20 July 2019

Harrington hoping for rain ahead of Sizing John's return

Trainer Jessica Harrington. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Trainer Jessica Harrington. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Jessica Harrington hopes that 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John will make his first appearance in over a year at next month's Dublin Racing Festival.

The nine-year-old hasn't been seen since disappointing in the 2017 Leopardstown Christmas Chase with a pelvic injury subsequently preventing his back-to-back blue riband bid at the Cotswolds.

The unusually dry weather has scuppered his return this season but the Moone handler is praying for rain as she eyes the Grade One Ladbrokes Dublin Chase over 2m1f.

"We'll see if the rain arrives. I'm looking to work him this weekend, but it depends on what the ground does in Navan. He seems to be in very good form and he did plenty this morning at home, but it's just getting him away," Harrington said.

"Would I like to run him over 2m1f for his first run? It would probably be better than running over three miles in the Irish Gold Cup. We'll just see what happens in the next fortnight."

Stablemate Supasundae is also set to "run a big race" at Leopardstown as he defends his Irish Champion Hurdle crown having chased home Willie Mullins' Sharjah in the Ryanair Hurdle at Christmas.

Meanwhile, Noel Meade is hoping for a change of luck with Road To Respect in the Unibet Irish Gold Cup after encountering all sorts of trouble in running during last month's Savills Chase despite coming home third behind Kemboy.

"He slipped twice and they went no gallop so it turned into a six-furlong sprint rather than a three-mile chase. I'm just happy that he came back safe and is ready to run again," Meade said.

Irish Independent

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