The result was definitely in our customers’ favour and gave us an early indication of what was to come. God willing, he will thrill us for years to come.
The seven-year-old had failed to complete on his last two runs but found plenty in the closing stages to pass Native River and claim second in chasing’s blue riband.
Harrington, who lost her husband Johnny to cancer in 2014, said to win the Gold Cup was on a different level to the other great successes.
Once inside, Harrington sipped champagne and was reluctant to give herself any credit.
When with Harry Fry he ran at Newbury and finished second to Top Notch who didn’t do the form any harm on Thursday and even if you go to his last run, Mick Jazz beat Cilaos Emery who ran well in the Supreme Novices’ on Tuesday.
The punters favourite, 11-year-old Cue Card, never looked like becoming the oldest victor of the race in 48 years and came to grief at the third last – the same fence he fell at in the 2016 edition.
She said: “It remains to be seen whether he’ll stay the extra two furlongs up the hill, but he’s going there a relatively fresh horse. He had it over two miles behind Douvan and he has that bit of speed”.
Power added, “The one thing about Sizing John is you can rely on his jumping”.
Jonjo O’Neill’s Minella Rocco (18/1) made late gains for second but the victor had flown, crossing the line two and three quarter lengths in front.
The seven-year-old is now 8/1 with Betway to win again in 12 months’ time. “I can’t believe it, I’ve got to get a Classic now [on the Flat]!”
A mighty leap from the eventual victor at the second-last effectively sealed his fate, and the 7-year-old quickly went three lengths up on his pursuers, staying on strongly to give owners Alan and Ann Potts a longed-for success in steeplechasing’s blue riband. While he’s never won around Cheltenham, and fallen there twice, his two best career runs were in the last two blue ribands and he’s had the flawless preparation to go one better this time around.
The winning jockey, who won the 2007 Grand National aboard Silver Birch, said: “Jessica Harrington is a genius and I always said that when Sizing John stepped up in trip it would be the making of him”.
He said he is hopeful of triumphing, saying: “I’d love to be the one who rides the Gold Cup victor for Willie”.
“The Gold Cup is a very big strain on the owner, trainer and jockey”. The total prize fun for the race is said to be £575,000. I was going out to the second circuit and praying that nothing would fall and bring me down – I thought that Jessie would kick my arse for being on the inside.