Jonathan Burke plans for more of same at Leopardstown

Rising star hoping to repeat success he enjoyed on St Stephen’s Day last year

Rising star Jonathan Burke broke his Grade One duck on Sizing John at last year's Christmas festival in Leopardstown and the partnership will be back at the Dublin track this week with more top-flight ambitions in their sights on St Stephen's Day.

Sizing John is unbeaten in two starts over fences this season, building on a productive novice hurdle campaign which saw him land the 2014 Future Champions Novice Hurdle.


That cemented the relationship between Burke and owners Ann and Alan Potts, which helped the 19-year-old jockey secure the National Hunt Award at the Horse Racing Ireland Awards earlier this month.

“Last year was great to get that first Grade One for my employers,” said Burke, who is eagerly anticipating Saturday’s Racing Post Novice Chase.


"The horse hasn't put a foot wrong yet but he'll be facing stiffer opposition with Douvan, Velbert Maker and Ttebbob. It's definitely hotting up to be maybe the race of the festival," he added.

Burke’s other top-flight winner, Sizing Granite, a Grade One scorer at Aintree last April, will also be on duty at Leopardstown in one of the day two highlights, the €100,000 Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase.

Sizing Granite is 14/1 with the sponsors for the two-mile event after getting beaten on his return to action at Naas.

“He was a little disappointing on his comeback run but he has improved a lot for it.

“He was beaten by summer-fit horses and he’s fresh and well now and is definitely one to look forward to,” Burke said.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column