Sizing John will be withheld once again next week, as Jessica Harrington decides to err on the side of caution with the 2017 Gold Cup winner. 

The eight-year-old has raced since last year’s Leopardstown Christmas Chase, where he spluttered to a seventh placed finish, a whole 32 lengths behind eventual winner Road To Respect. 

Forced to miss his chance to defend his Gold Cup title in March with a pelvis issue, reports had suggested the much-loved horse was nearing a return to jump racing. 

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Quoted by Sporting Life however, Harrington revealed the delicate position she was in with Sizing John: 

I have decided to take Sizing John out of Leopardstown over Christmas because I’ve been unable to get a suitable gallop into him on the grass because of all the previous dry weather we had.

He’s around 15 kilos heavier than his usual racing weight and if he’d had a run already this season, I wouldn’t mind running him, but it will be a tough ask first time out so we will instead give him a little more time and look at bringing him back in something like the Kinloch Brae, which he won in 2017, in Thurles next month.

Everything is absolutely fine with him, but I took the decision to take him out so I wouldn’t be tempted to run.