SIZING JOHN gave Irish trainer Jessica Harrington her first victory in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with her first runner when coming home a clear-cut winner of jumping’s blue riband prize.
Given a patient ride by Robbie Power, the seven-year-old completed the English-Irish Gold Cup double in style to dispel any stamina doubts.
Djakadam travelled well for most of the race and looked as though he might end Willie Mullins’ hoodoo in the showpiece event, but Sizing John (7-1) pounced to lead between the final two fences.
So often in the shadow of Douvan over two miles, Sizing John kept on strongly up the hill to score by two and three-quarter lengths from the staying-on Minella Rocco (18-1).
Native River (7-2) was a short-head away in third and Djakadam - twice the runner-up - was fourth.
Owner Alan Potts said: “It’s unreal, it’s my dream and it’s come true.
It’s absolutely fantastic, my first runner in a Gold Cup. He was running over two miles, but it was Robert who said he would stay and he did.Gold Cup-winning trainer, Jessica Harrington
“It’s our first runner in the race, the jockey’s first ride and Jessie’s first runner.”
Harrington said: “I can’t believe it, it was amazing how he jumped and travelled. Robert said he wasn’t going to go down the inside, but he did.
“It’s absolutely fantastic, my first runner in a Gold Cup. He was running over two miles, but it was Robert who said he would stay and he did.
“Thanks to everyone at home, it’s all down to the team. I can’t believe it, I’ve got to get a Classic now (on the Flat)!”
Cue Card fell at the third-last for the second successive year, while Lizzie Kelly only got as far as the second fence where she and Tea For Two parted company.