Long-awaited break in weather could help Sizing John return to action

Up To 50mms of rain forecast for Leopardstown over 10 days

Sizing John: former Cheltenham Gold Cup hero could return to action at Leopardstown. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

The chances of 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Sizing John returning to action at the Dublin Racing Festival could have increased with up to two inches of rain forecast to fall on Leopardstown over the next 10 days.

Sizing John hasn’t been seen in action since the end of 2017 when beaten in a Grade One at the Dublin track. Later that season he suffered a hairline fracture to his pelvis in the weeks leading up to Cheltenham.

Trainer Jessica Harrington has been anxious to get her stable star back to the track this season but like many other trainers has been frustrated by the continuing unseasonable weather and quick ground conditions.

Sizing John holds an entry in the €225,000 Unibet Irish Gold Cup on Day Two of the €1.8 million Dublin Racing Festival in just over two weeks time', a race he won in 2017. He also has a Grade One option in the newly promoted Ladbrokes Dublin Chase over two miles.


Harrington appeared to indicate a preference for the shorter race for Sizing John’s comeback but much could yet depend on Leopardstown getting significant rainfall in the interim.

"Over the next ten days we could get between 40 to 50mms," Leopardstown's clerk of the course Lorcan Wyer reported on Wednesday. "There's a change in store with the weather becoming cooler and more unsettled."

That will be welcome news for many trainers including the connections of the current Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy. He could reappears over hurdles at Gowran as soon as next week.

Harrington had contemplated bringing Sizing John back to action in this Sunday’s Grade Two feature at Thurles but skipped it due to the current going.

“The ground in Thurles has had firm in this winter which is unheard of,” she 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