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Top jumps trainers pay tribute after the death of Sizing John owner

Ann Potts, along with her husband Alan, enjoyed great success over jumps
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Ann Potts, who along with husband Alan enjoyed Cheltenham Gold Cup glory this year with Sizing John, has died after a long illness. She was 69.

Prolific winner Sizing Europe, who landed the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in 2011 among seven Grade 1 victories, was the couple’s first top-notch horse, and most of their major triumphs have come with Irish trainers.

Sizing Europe was trained by Henry de Bromhead, while Sizing John – who followed up his triumph at Cheltenham by winning at the Punchestown festival – is based with Jessica Harrington.

Sizing John, in the colours of Ann and Alan Potts, stormed to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in March
Harrington said on Saturday: "It's very sad. Ann was a lovely person and a very brave one during her long illness.

“She got great enjoyment from Sizing John's wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Irish Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup."

Last year, the owners moved the majority of their horses to Colin Tizzard in Dorset after splitting with De Bromhead, although Sizing John remained in Ireland and was switched to Harrington.

Ann Potts with Jamie Flynn after winning with Goonyella at Punchestown in 2013
Tizzard trains Finian’s Oscar, Fox Norton and Pingshou, among others who wear the owners’ familiar green and yellow silks.

Tizzard said on Saturday: "I knew Ann only for about a year but she was a lovely lady and very pleasant at the races or on the phone. It's a sad loss."

The funeral is at 11am on Sunday at Amber Valley Memorial Park & Crematorium, Derby Road, Swanwick, Alfreton, Derbyshire. A celebration of Potts' life will take place afterwards at Santo's Higham Farm in Alfreton.

She got great enjoyment from Sizing John's wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Irish Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup
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