Jessica Harrington still believes that her 2017 Gold Cup winning horse Sizing John can bounce back to form this season and be at a stage in his career that he will be able to be at peak condition for the first time in two years.
The now nine year old gelding owned by the well known pots family has not been seen on a racecourse since being pulled up in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown at the back end of the 2017 season.
It was in that year that Sizing John became one of he greats of the sport landing the Gold Cup Trio when he went on to win the Leopardstown, Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cup consecutively.
Having finished second behind behind Douvan for most of his career, Harrington stepped him up in trip and that was the move that made him the horse we all remember him being and his trainer believes he can get back to somewhere near his best.
The trainer has had to be exceptionally patient with the gelding, with injury after injury halting his progress on the national hunt scene over the last two years which has seen him miss the last two Cheltenham festivals and we hope this season he will be able to give a title defence at the Cheltenham festival.
Unlike many jumps horses, Sizing John has been kept extremely busy during the off season with a huge rehabilitation plan set up for him to get him back to where he needs to be for the upcoming season.
(Credit Racing Post) Harrington said: “He's actually never been out [this summer]. He's been doing rehab since the spring and we've kept him going so he's back cantering. His rehab consisted of a lot of trotting and things like that so we're happy with where we are with him.”
Harrington's horse has not even been priced up by any bookmakers to win the 2020 Gold Cup at Cheltenham but his trainer is hopeful that he will back to his best by the time the race comes around with a return to the track in November the next plan for the nine year old.
She added: “He's only a nine-year-old and could have three good years ahead of him. I'd love to start him back in a hurdle race and take things from there – the dream is still alive."