2017 Cheltenham Gold cup Winner Sizing John Will Miss Leopardstown Return
Sizing John will miss his intended comeback at Leopardstown over Christmas with Jessica Harrington waiting for the new year to get one of her stable stars back on track.
The target for the 2017 Gold Cup winner does remain a return for the 2019 Cheltenham Festival but we haven't seen the 8-year-old for almost a year now following his 7th place finish in the 3m Christmas Chase last December.
Harrington, via her Unibet blog, remains confident of getting the horse back out on track in the early part of the new year but that a return to the Leopardstown festive meeting has come slightly too early for the horse.
I have decided to take Sizing John out of Leopardstown over Christmas because I’ve been unable to get a suitable gallop into him on the grass because of all the previous dry weather we had.”
The Irish based trainer has suggested that the Kinloch Brae Chase could be the ideal starting point for a horse who was forced to miss the defence of his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown due to injury.
The son of Midnight Legend has become something of a forgotten horse over the past six months with Presenting Percy, Native River and Might Bite currently dominating the ante-post market for the 2019 Gold Cup, but connections have been bullish about a horse who has been there and done it before.
Doubts will of course remain about Sizing John ever returning to his very best after such a long injury lay-off but with plenty of time on his side, there is no doubt his return, when it happens, will be an eagerly anticipated event.