Trainer Jes­sica con­fi­dent John will size things up

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Uk World Today -

JES­SICA Har­ring­ton is con­fi­dent Siz­ing John will bounce back to his best when he de­fends his crown in the Tim­ico Chel­tenham Gold Cup.

The eight-year-old pro­vided the trainer with a first run­ner and first win­ner in the Na­tional Hunt rac­ing blue riband last March and could hardly have been more im­pres­sive when slam­ming Djakadam on his sea­sonal re-ap­pear­ance in the John Durkan Me­mo­rial Punchestown Chase in early De­cem­ber.

How­ever, he suf­fered his first de­feat in six races when fin­ish­ing a dis­ap­point­ing sev­enth in the Christ­mas Chase at Leop­ard­stown less than three weeks later.

Jes­sica has spent the sub­se­quent two months at­tempt­ing to en­sure he will show his true colours on March 16.

She said: “We had a bit of a hic­cup over Christ­mas but since then we’ve been chug­ging along.

“We haven’t done any­thing very quickly and his weight is com­ing down to his rac­ing weight.

“We’ve not re­ally put the gun to his head prop­erly but he has done two good breezes this week.

“I don’t want to put pres­sure on him. I want him on the day, not the day be­fore.”

A vet­eri­nary re­port re­vealed Siz­ing John to be clin­i­cally ab­nor­mal af­ter his Leop­ard­stown flop, although the root of the prob­lem was never fully dis­cov­ered.

Jes­sica added: “He’d over­heated a bit. Whether that was from a slightly ty­ing up or some­thing, they never re­ally found a rea­son.”

Siz­ing John win­ning the Tim­ico Cheltenham Gold Cup last year with Robbie Power on board.

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