Sizing John & Yorkhill’s Pre-Cheltenham Battle
Unfortunately inspections are the order of the day tomorrow but providing both Leopardstown and Limerick pass the early checks in the morning we’ve got some great racing to look forward to.
Sizing another Gold Cup
Sizing John’s Gold Cup credentials have already increased this week and that is without the seven-year-old even running yet. The history making Gold Cup winner was safely at home in his box during Tuesday’s King George but Might Bite’s workmanlike defeat of Double Shuffle was enough to suggest that Sizing John’s biggest threat in the Gold Cup is going to face him on Thursday at Leopardstown – Yorkhill.
With Disko a disappointing absentee, the Christmas Chase at Leopardstown is still a brilliant race to watch..
…and Yorkhill stepping up to three-miles in open company really will be fascinating but Sizing John has been there and ticked the box all year, starting in the Kinloch Brae and right through to his seasonal comeback in the John Durkan earlier this month.
Sizing John is the standard setter, the horse that has taken all comers and beaten them in this category in 2017 and he can finish the year at the top and it might be worth taking the 4/1 about him for the Cheltenham Gold Cup before the Leopardstown feature.
Apple of Elliott’s eye
Gordon Elliott has too many horses and too many big aims to lose sleep over results. He’d have been raging that Death Duty didn’t land a blow on Footpad and Mengli Khan’s early exit must have been extremely frustrating but few are better than Elliott at brushing himself down and getting on with it. He said as much about Apple’s Jade in the three-mile Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle that if she doesn’t get the trip she’ll just revert to the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham and if she does get the trip she’ll go down the same route anyway.
Elliott has taken this option to take on the boys again and although he insists that she’ll be kept to the mares race at Cheltenham…
…if she can repeat her trouncing of Nichols Canyon, you’d have to think that she’ll be a live candidate for the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Apple’s Jade pulled right clear of the current Stayers Hurdle champion at Fairyhouse in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle and while the Willie Mullins team will feel that he’ll be better over three-miles this week, Apple’s Jade was only extending her advantage the closer she got to the finish and the extra half a mile doesn’t look like it will inconvenience her. It’s a short price Grade 1 double for Leopardstown but one that is hard to get away from.
Apple’s Jade (5/6) – 1.20
Sizing John (11/10) – 3.00