Sizing John heading straight to Cheltenham

2018-01-12 17:10:00, Views: 0, ICS

Sizing John heading straight to Cheltenham

Jessica Harrington says reigning Gold Cup champion Sizing John will not have a warm-up race before heading to the Cheltenham Festival.

The eight-year-old was named among 38 entries for the renewal of the Gold Cup in March and had been expected to stop off at Leopardstown for the Irish Gold Cup on February 4.

Sizing John won the Irish Gold Cup last year before his success at Prestbury Park but Harrington has decided to skip the event this time around.

She told the Daily Mirror: "He's going to go straight to the Gold Cup.

"I'd rather go there fresh and well. He's in good form, he looks good and he's been back cantering this week."

Harrington's decision to swerve a date at Leopardstown comes after a poor showing at the same venue in the Christmas Chase last month as he came home seventh.

The Moone handler says a series of tests were carried out after the below-par display and reports he was distressed, but nothing untoward was found.

Harrington said: "The official report said he was a clinical abnormality after the post-race examination. He is sound now and his heart was OK.

"Basically he got slight hyperthermia and he got too hot. As soon as he cooled down, he was grand."