Jessica Harrington has decided against letting Sizing John make his long-awaited return to action at Leopardstown next week.
The 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner has not raced since disappointing at the Foxrock circuit last Christmas, having won the John Durkan Memorial Chase on his previous appearance.
Harrington was forced to rule out a Cheltenham defence because of a fractured pelvis and although she was pleased with the eight-year-old in a recent racecourse spin at the Curragh, she feels he is not yet ready for a competitive reappearance.
Sizing John held entries in the two-mile-one-furlong Paddy’s Rewards Club “Sugar Paddy” Chase and the three-mile Savills Chase.
Speaking in her Unibet blog, Harrington said: “I have decided to take Sizing John out of Leopardstown over Christmas because I’ve been unable to get a suitable gallop into him on the grass because of all the previous dry weather we had.
“He’s around 15 kilos heavier than his usual racing weight and if he’d had a run already this season, I wouldn’t mind running him, but it will be a tough ask first time out so we will instead give him a little more time and look at bringing him back in something like the Kinloch Brae, which he won in 2017, in Thurles next month.
“Everything is absolutely fine with him, but I took the decision to take him out so I wouldn’t be tempted to run.”