Sizing John Out For The Rest of the Season

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Sizing John will not make his debut in the Grand National this season as he has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign.

The former Gold Cup winner was part of the 108 horses which were declared for the Aintree contest last month but is now out of that race along with the Blue Riband event of the Festival a month earlier.

Sizing John was set to feature in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown during the Dublin Racing Festival, however, his trainer Jessica Harrington revealed he has picked up a new injury ahead of his final workout for that race.

Harrington said: “He was not 100 per cent following his last fast work at the Curragh yesterday. This is a new injury, and it will rule him out for the rest of the season. (It is) very frustrating for all of our team.”

Sizing John made his first appearance in 733 days when he returned to the track at Punchestown on December 31 in the Bet With Tote At Punchestown Hurdle. He was travelling well before falling at the third last hurdle in the race which was won by Burrows Saint.

No further details have been revealed about the long-term plans for the 10-year-old. There is still a lot of optimism that the Irish horse could feature next season and be campaigned towards the Grand National in 2021.

Native River has the chance to complete famous double

The 2018 Gold Cup winner Native River remains in the National field and will be aiming to complete the rare double of the two most prestigious National Hunt races on the calendar when he lines up at Aintree.

Colin Tizzard’s runner made his seasonal reappearance in the Virgin Bet Price Boosts Many Clouds Chase at Aintree where he blew away the field by 33 lengths. He is set to feature in the Betfair Denman Chase on Saturday at Newcastle in what will be his final appearance before the Cheltenham Festival.

Given he is a former Gold Cup winner, Native River is likely to have one of the highest weight allocations in the Grand National when those are released on February 11. He is as short as 12/1 with some bookmakers for the 4m2½f contest on Merseyside.

Jessica Harrington has three other entries in the field

Although Native River will not be saddled up by Harrington on April 5 at Aintree, she may still be represented by three horses.

Magic of Light, Jett and Moonshine Bay are all from Harrington’s yard in County Kildare and have entries in the world’s most famous steeplechase.

Harrington came very close to her opening success in the Grand National last April as Magic Of Light finished second behind Tiger Roll. The talented mare has been in great form this season as she has prevailed twice, with her latest success coming in the Grade Two bet365 Mares’ Hurdle at Ascot.

The betting suggests Magic Of Light represents the Irish trainer’s best chance at Aintree as she is 16/1* to go one place better than in 2019.

Jett and Moonshine Bay are both 100/1* outsiders and will both be making their debuts in the Grand National if they make it in the final 40-runner field which is declared 48 hours prior to the race.

*odds subject to change.

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