Sizing John leads Djakadam at the last in the Cheltenham Gold Cup
Image by

Sizing John will chart a direct route towards the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

Jessica Harrington’s eight-year-old was in the frame to run beforehand in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on February 4 – race he won 12 months ago.

But his trainer told the Daily Mirror: “He’s going to go straight to the Gold Cup.”

She went on: “I’d rather go there fresh and well. He’s in good form, he looks good and he’s been back cantering this week.”

Sizing John made a spectacular winning return in the John Durkan at Punchestown last month, but was then a bitter disappointment in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase.

Harrington said: “Nothing came to light that you could hang your hat on. I just think the race came too soon.

“It didn’t look like he had a hard race (at Punchestown), but these things can be deceptive – both him and Djakadam (John Durkan runner-up) ran flat at Leopardstown last time.”