DEFENDING CHAMPION JOHN SIZING OUT OF CHELTENHAM 2018
The winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2017, Sizing John is said to be out of the upcoming Cheltenham Festival after sustaining an injury. His trainer, Harrington Jessica has reported that the horse has sustained a hairline fracture just some eight days to the race which is set to be on the 16th of March, 2018. This is a terrible blow to the Pott’s family. John was owned by businessman, Alan’s Pott and his Wife, Ann who both died after Sizing’s triumph about 12 months ago at Prestbury Park.
‘It is really unfortunate,’ said her trainer, Jessica. ‘We had all hopes that John would be going back into the competition to defend the title.’ After his triumph at Prestbury, he was sent off to win the Leopardstown Christmas Chase but unfortunately, he was beaten to the seventh position. The 8-year-old Mare was tipped to become the first horse that would defend the Gold Cup title after Best mate achieved it in 2003.
John’s Jockey, Power Robbie has expressed his bitterness towards the news by describing it has heartbreaking. ‘It is a very disappointing one, however, don’t worry much as he would be back soon,’ he posted on his social media page.
The drop-out would make it the third time a defending champion has missed the subsequent tournament after Don Cossack and Coneygree failed to defend their title also.
The eight-year-old hare was about 6-1 second favourite to win the Gold Cup 2018 only behind Might Bite who was a 3-1 favourite.
“He was normal just early this morning at Commonstown, but during his routine checks at noon, it was discovered he had a sore behind,” Harrington reported
“Our Veterinary Doctor, Mark McRedmond, had come to check him over and he was diagnosed with a hairline non-displaced fracture at his pelvis. He will be allowed to rest for about two weeks before being rescanned.’