Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 14 December 2017

Sizing John ready to jump to it for De Bromhead

JJ Burke: partners Sizing John
JJ Burke: partners Sizing John

Thomas Kelly

Henry De Bromhead is looking forward to seeing his Grade One winner Sizing John in action over fences for the first time in the Download The Betdaq App Beginners Chase at Punchestown today.

Chasing has always been the long-term aim for the son of Midnight Legend, who struck at the top level over timber at Leopardstown last Christmas.

He followed that up with two solid placed efforts behind star novice Douvan at Cheltenham and Punchestown.

De Bromhead has stated on several occasions that the five-year-old is viewed as a real chaser, and the Waterford handler is hoping for a good start over the larger obstacles.

"He seems in good form and has been schooling well so we're hoping for a nice run," said De Bromhead.

"We're looking forward to it but a bit apprehensive as we'd like a nice start for him.

"Richie Galway (Punchestown's racing manager) said it's nice ground and there is a nice bit of rain forecast."

Sizing John is due to face four rivals, including Gordon Elliott's Killer Crow.

Paul Nolan is hoping Fine Article gets a nice introduction to chasing when he lines up for the 50Euro In Free Bets Beginners Chase.

Connections have long hoped that the son of Definite Article will make into a top chaser like his half-brother Joncol and he takes the first step in that sphere in the two-and-a-half mile contest.

He faces a strong rival in No More Heroes, which ran a stormer to finish third in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at Cheltenham. Nolan reckons his charge will benefit from the run and is hoping for a trouble-free round and a nice education.

"He's in good form," he said. "It's a very good race with the likes of No More Heroes in it.

"Hopefully he'll have a clear round and we can get a nice first run over fences into him.

"He'll come on a nice bit from the run as he hasn't had any schooling races and we haven't had him away from home.

"We'd possibly like it a bit softer but he is a Definite Article so he should be able to handle it. We're going to take our chance anyway and run."

No More Heroes also makes his chasing debut and looks sure to go off a short price having proven among the leading staying novice hurdlers of last season.

As well as finishing third at Cheltenham he was also a Grade Two winner at Navan when beating Shaneshill.

Meanwhile, inclement conditions that greeted work-watchers at Keeneland on Monday are forecast to continue for the next 48 hours, creating the possibility of a worrying time for connections of Breeders' Cup Turf favourite Golden Horn.

The turf course is currently described as good by track superintendent Javier Barajas, but his prediction is that conditions will definitely worsen before dry weather arrives.

"The course takes the rain very well because we have a sand base, but, that said, it could get quite soft for the Europeans ahead of the weekend."

Golden Horn, which is as short as 4/7 for the mile-and-a-half Turf, cleared quarantine yesterday morning.

The Derby, Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes and Arc winner has, however, shown a marked preference for good ground.

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