There’s no guarantee you will ever witness history at a sporting event. There have been moments in memories past when greatness has narrowly eluded even the great teams and competitors. However, that should not be the case with the elite horse Sizing John in his bid to secure back-to-back triumphs at the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The bay gelding won the event as an outside contender last season with a fine run as jockey Robbie Power in the saddle.
Sizing John has enhanced his reputation with further impressive victories. Jessica Harrington’s charge has built a notoriety and level of expectation every time he takes to the track. Therefore there will be much anticipation when he returns to Cheltenham Festival in March to defend his Gold Cup crown, with the Bay Gelding considered the leading contender on Oddschecker as per a variety of bookmakers. Only one horse since the turn of the millennium has managed to win back-to-back Gold Cups – as Best Mate won the race three times on the bounce from 2002 to 2004. Only six horses in the history of the meet have pulled off back-to-back triumphs, dating back to 1924.
There are few sporting events where you know history will be made. Real Madrid became the first team since the Champions League was reformatted in 1992 to win back-to-back crowns when they beat Juventus in Cardiff in June. There are surprising times in history when in Super Bowl XLII when the New England Patriots were denied immortality in the NFL when their quest to remain unbeaten in the 2007 season was ended by the New York Giants.
The atmosphere at Cheltenham on Champions’ Day will be a special experience, matching that of a Champions League final or a Super Bowl. Tickets can be secured for £50 and if you’re a fan of racing or simply like soaking in the occasion of a major event – with the addition of a few beverages – then it is surely one not to miss out on.
Source: HorseRacingUK via Twitter
Sizing John has time to build form for the day but has already impressed in the National Hunt 2017/18 season. The bay gelding has risen to the occasion to claim victory at the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, overcoming a poor start to the meet to claim a comfortable victory over a talented field, including Djakadam. Djakadam has endured a number of failures at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, finishing second twice and he will be one of the competitors vying to deny Harrington’s charge the famous victory.