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Published: Today | 23 minutes ago

Sizing John to bid for Gold Cup double


Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John is to be aimed at the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup, trainer Jessica Harrington has confirmed.

The seven-year-old began the season by finishing second to Douvan in the Paddy Power Cashcard Chase at Leopardstown's Christmas Festival and after beating Sub Lieutenant in the Kinloch Brae Chase the decision was made to step up to three miles for the Stan James Irish Gold Cup.

His victory in the Grade One convinced connections to go for the blue riband and he did not disappoint as he defeated Minella Rocco in the Cheltenham feature last weekend.

Harrington has confirmed he will have one more race this season with the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup the target for the gelding.

"Sizing John has come out of his Cheltenham race very well and we were obviously thrilled with how everything went," said Harrington.

"So we have decided that our next step is to go to the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup at the end of April."

A large number of Cheltenham Festival winners are expected to run at Punchestown, including Ryanair Chase winner, Un De Sceaux, Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Special Tiara and Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle winner Nichols Canyon.

"It was an unforgettable Cheltenham Festival for Ireland with 19 winners and we are delighted that so many of them are planning to reappear next month at the Punchestown Festival, not least of course Sizing John," Punchestown's racing manager Richie Galway said.

"Punchestown has undergone the first phase of a major redevelopment project in preparation for this year's Festival. Combine this with record levels of prize money, possibly the strongest Irish team of the modern era and a powerful group of British raiders and we are in for a very exciting five days from April 25 to 29." 

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