Sizing John stages late rally to take command from Sub Lieutenant
It was unfortunate the main claim to fame held by Sizing John before this race was the number of times –seven in total – he had taken on Douvan and failed.
Six of those attempts came when trained by Henry de Bromhead, but on just his second start for Jessica Harrington the son of Midnight Legend enjoyed his finest day when landing this Grade 3 pot. He was subsequently cut to a general 8-1 (from 16) for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.
Under Robbie Power, his challenge was sustained from early in the straight and eventually he wore down favourite Sub Lieutenant close home to score by two and a half lengths, the horse he beat ironically being trained by De Bromhead.
The trainer showed admirable good grace when congratulated by one member of the press who failed to realise the winner was no longer in his care!
It was a good battle between the two from some way out in a race run at a very strong pace as they finished a dozen lengths clear of JLT Novices' Chase winner Black Hercules, who could never go quickly enough.
"That was super – he was very relaxed all through the race," she said.
"Robert said when he got there at what would have normally been two out he knew he was going to pick up, and he picked up well past him.
"I'll talk to Alan and Ann Potts about where we go next. It could be the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown or the Red Mills Chase at Gowran, and he'll be entered in everything at Cheltenham.
"You'd imagine he'll go for the Ryanair Chase, but we'll see."
De Bromhead lost Sizing John and all of the Potts-owned horses after the summer, but he was pleased with Sub Lieutenant and a rematch with the winner in the Ryanair looks likely.
He said: "He ran a blinder. In fairness, the winner beat him before over hurdles. I think if we had to jump the last it might have helped us, but who knows? We'll head for the Ryanair now and see how we go."
The stricken Enright unfortunately received a number of facial lacerations and was taken to Limerick University Hospital for x-rays on a suspected broken jaw.