Saturday 21 September 2019

Haydock conditions put paid to Sizing John's £1m bonus hopes

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

Thomas Kelly

Sizing John will not run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday due to the heavy ground, trainer Jessica Harrington has announced.

Last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner will be re-routed to the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown on December 10.

"Sadly he's not running because the ground is soft, heavy in places, and there's a bit more rain due," said Harrington.

"It's just the ground. I've been a bit worried all week. I didn't mind soft, genuine soft ground, but when they start putting heavy into Haydock, it gets very heavy."

The decision means Sizing John will not be attempting the £1m bonus offered by the Jockey Club to a horse that wins the Betfair Chase, the 32Red King George VI Chase and Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same season.

Meanwhile, Alpha Des Obeaux has been allotted 11st 7lb for the Becher Chase at Aintree on December 9. Last week's Clonmel Oil Chase winner features among 12 Irish-trained entries for the big handicap.

The Last Samuri will have to defy top weight of 11st 12lb if he is to improve on his third place in the Becher last season.

Irish Independent

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