Look Who's Back In Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds
The Cheltenham Gold Cup betting received a new addition on Wednesday when it was revealed injured 2017 winner Sizing John has returned to the gallops.
The nine-year-old has not run since December 2017, suffering several injuries, but according to trainer Jessica Harrington he has spent the summer in rehabilitation, and is expected to finally return to the racetrack this term.
She Tweeted a welcome photo of the five-time Grade 1 winner cantering on her gallops at Commonstown Stables in County Kildare, ridden by Robbie Power, who rode him to his Gold Cup treble at Leopardstown, Cheltenham and Punchestown in 2017.
“He's been doing rehab since the spring and we've kept him going so he's back cantering," Harrington told the Racing Post. "His rehab consisted of a lot of trotting and things like that so we're happy with where we are with him.”
Before Harrington's news, Sizing John was not quoted in the Gold Cup betting but he's now received odds of 40/1.
That still makes the 2017 Irish Horse of the Year an outsider to reclaim his Cheltenham crown, however, others above him in the odds are also fragile, and it would only take one successful outing to quarter those odds.
That return outing is set to be over hurdles in November, with Harrington still eyeing a return to fences and the dizzying heights Sizing John once scaled.
“He's only a nine-year-old and could have three good years ahead of him" she said. "I'd love to start him back in a hurdle race and take things from there – the dream is still alive."
Who Else Is Back On Gold Cup Trail?
Sizing John is not the only Gold Cup fancy back on the road to Cheltenham; earlier this month Presenting Percy also returned to the gallops.
The eight-year-old was the overwhelming ante-post favourite in last year's Gold Cup betting, being sent off 100/30 favourite on the day, despite having only run once - over hurdles - since the previous Cheltenham Festival.
He disappointed back in eighth behind Al Boum Photo, but was given a long break to recover from that and owner Albert Reynolds recently shared footage (above) of him cantering on the gallops.
Percy back in light work. pic.twitter.com/hI8TTzEwR4— albert reynolds (@albertreynolds6) August 4, 2019
He is a 16/1 shot to win the Gold Cup this season, though will be lining up a far more experienced chaser, and still boasting two Festival wins from three outings at the four-day pinnacle.
RSA Chase hero Topofthegame is perhaps the most forward of all, with trainer Paul Nicholls aiming the big chestnut at a Chepstow novice chase in mid-October, before going for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in November.
The 10/1 shot is the shortest price of Nicholls' two Gold Cup contenders, with Clan Des Obeaux generally 16/1. He is set to return in Northern Ireland at Down Royal on November 2.
Boum & Kemboy Still Gold Cup Favourites
November will be a key month for Gold Cup contenders as it is also likely to see the return to action of favourites Kemboy and Al Boum Photo.
The pair are 6/1 and 7/1 shots to win at Cheltenham next March, Kemboy having beaten the reigning champion at Punchestown last April - putting behind him Festival disappointment when he fell at the first in the Gold Cup.
Kemboy's exploits meant he achieved the highest official rating of any jumps horse in Britain and Ireland last season, topping the Anglo-Irish Classifications with a rating of 177.
That would rule the seven-year-old out of the Ladbrokes Trophy in November, a handicap he was a short price for last season, before being forced to miss it owing to weather causing travel problems.
However, both he and his Willie Mullins-trained stablemate could be bound for Down Royal on November 2. The stars have been in rude health this summer when seen parading for their fans at local racecourses, and are back in work at Mullins' yard.
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