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Sizing John wins Cheltenham Gold Cup in thrilling race

18 March 2017

However, BetVictor and Betway were both happy to dangle 16/1, leaving Vieux Lion Rouge as their favourite.

"Sizing John has gone from two miles at Christmas to winning over three miles and two furlongs here".

Ten years after winning the Grand National, jockey Robbie Power won the equally-prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup when Sizing John galloped to victory on Festival Friday.

Under the Champion jockey, Richard Johnson, the four-year-old gelding - unbeaten now in seven races - fended off the Gordon Elliott-trained Mega Fortune into second.

Similarly, the fairytale for Lizzie Kelly, the first female jockey to ride in the Gold Cup for 33 years, evaporated early in the race as Tea for Two fell at only the second fence. Paddy Power slashed their price from 20/1 to 11/2, while Betfair went event shorter at 5/1. In the day's penultimate race, Let's Dance justified favouritism to win the Mares' Novices' Hurdle and complete the four-timer.

With 10 winners at the Festival, she is undoubtedly the meeting's leading lady. Between them, Ireland claimed six of the seven races.

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Early promise over fences, including when a wide-margin Grade One victor at Aintree two years ago. Form of the Tizzard yard could be a concern, though they went close in Wednesday's Champion Chase with Fox Norton. Taquin du Seuil (Fr), who was second in the Coral Cup on Wednesday, was bred by Marc.

"If Jack Kennedy, for example, has ridden a horse for the last three seasons, won a Grade One on him, won the Lanzarote on him, and had him taken off and put Paul Moloney on, you'd be, like, 'That's random".

Three French-bred horses filled the podium for Britain's top juvenile hurdle contest, with AQPS Defi Du Seuil winning by five lengths from the Niarchos Family's Mega Fortune (Fr) (Soldier of Fortune ) and Maurice Rohaut-Leger's Bapaume (Fr) (Turtle Bowl ).

Tim Radford, non-executive director at Timico, said: "Having sponsored some of our local Point-to-Points, we were keen to take this commitment further, effectively creating a Gold Cup final for the amateur division".

Ladbrokes' Nicola McGeady added: "The last number of years have been really in favour of the punters, with last year going down in history as the costliest, so we are hugely relieved that we've been given some respite this time around".

It's hard to find a challenger but both Wholestone (5/1) and Monalee (8/1) will have their backers while there are many who think the aforementioned Augusta Kate could have won had she stayed on her feet in Kildare.

Sizing John wins Cheltenham Gold Cup in thrilling race