Thursday 22 February 2018

Jessica Harrington reaffirms Punchestown plan for Gold Cup hero Sizing John

Sizing John
Sizing John

Sizing John remains on course for the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup later this month.

Trainer Jessica Harrington confirmed all roads for the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner now lead towards the Grade One contest on April 26.

She said: "Sizing John has been great and he is still on course to run at Punchestown.

"We've not worked him since Cheltenham but we have been keeping him ticking along.

"Let's hope he can do the same thing at Punchestown."

Having had time to take in Sizing John's Gold Cup triumph, the County Kildare handler was left overwhelmed by the reception her new stable star received during a homecoming parade to celebrate his success.

Harrington said: "I was amazed how many people turned up to the homecoming as Moone is only a small village with a school, a church and a shop and not much else, but it was absolutely packed.

"It was amazing and I couldn't believe how many people turned out to see him."

Harrington is relishing the prospect of Sizing John going head to head with 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree, who delighted connections during a schooling session before racing at Ffos Las on Sunday.

She added: "He's just been hacking about the place since Cheltenham and he doesn't need to do much as we've got two weeks until the race.

"He'll canter over the coming few days and do a bit of work later in the week and another next week and that should him put spot-on.

"He has a very relaxed way of jumping and I don't think he missed a beat the whole way around Cheltenham.

"He's just been hacking about the place since Cheltenham and he doesn't need to do much as we've got two weeks until the race.

"I see that Coneygree is coming and it should be a great race."

Sizing John and Coneygree are the stand-out names amongst 19 entries for the Punchestown Gold Cup.

Willie Mullins has entered Gold Cup fourth Djakadam, Vroum Vroum Mag and Alelchi Inois, while Gordon Elliott could run Empire Of Dirt, Lord Scoundrel, Noble Endeavor and Outlander.

Carlingford Lough looks set to to defend his crown for trainer John Kiely and owner JP McManus and will be fresher than most, having skipped Cheltenham and Aintree.

Irish Cavalier, More Of That, Puffin Billy and Otago Trail are the other potential challengers from Britain.

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