THE Irish had further cause for celebration on St Patrick’s Day when Sizing John galloped relentlessly up the Cheltenham hill to beat late charger Minella Rocco by two-and-three-quarter lengths in Friday’s Timico Gold Cup and inscribe his name on jump racing’s most celebrated honours board.

Trained by Kildare-based Jessica Harrington and ridden by Robbie Power, who had spent much of the season nursing a fractured cheek and eye-socket and the lingering consequence of that, double vision, the 7-1 shot landed in front at the second-last fence, winged the last and set determinedly about proving those critics who seriously questioned his stamina before the race wrong.

Power, as much a horseman as jockey who spends much of his summers competing in top level showjumping events, claimed this victory in jump racing’s blue riband 10 years after he won the Grand National on Silver Birch.

Harrington, who was only sent the horse by Potts in the autumn – along with Wednesday’s Coral Cup winner Supasundae – paid tribute to the horse’s former trainer, Henry de Bromhead, whose pain at seeing the victory will, up to a point, have been softened by Special Tiara’s brave win in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

I do feel very sorry for Henry,” she said. “He bought them and did all the work with them as youngsters. I only inherited them in September.”

-From The Telegraph.
Photo credit: Reuters.

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