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Harrington ace Our Duke on road to recovery after undergoing back operation

Our Duke: pushed out to 16-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup after Down Royal no-show
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Our Duke has undergone an operation on his back following his disappointing comeback at Down Royal, trainer Jessica Harrington has revealed.

Last season's Irish Grand National winner scoped dirty after trailing in last of seven finishers in this month's JNwine.com Champion Chase, but a back problem has emerged as a contributing factor.

"He had an operation on his back and hopefully he will be back for the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown at the beginning of February," said Harrington on Racing UK.

"He's absolutely fine and is back on the walker. He scoped dirty after it [Down Royal] but the fact he never jumped a fence probably points more to the back problem."

Our Duke had been an 8-1 chance for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup before his return to action, but bookmakers have pushed his odds out to 16-1.

John sizing up for Haydock

Harrington is happy with the condition of Gold Cup hero Sizing John in the build-up to his comeback in Saturday's Betfair Chase, but is hoping conditions do not become too testing at Haydock.

"He's a big horse and he put on a lot of weight over the summer – he was about 50kg above his racing weight so we had a bit of Weight Watchers going on – but he seems to be coming now," she said. "He's doing another gallop this afternoon and after that I hope he's spot-on.

"The only worry for next weekend would be if the ground got very heavy, but we have to take that as it comes." 


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He had an operation on his back and hopeful he will be back for the Irish Gold Cup
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