Ireland-trained Sizing John wins Gold Cup

3/17/2017 9:50:59 AM

CHELTENHAM, England (AP) 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.

Trained in Ireland, Sizing John won by two-and-three-quarter lengths on St. Patrick"s Day.

Power had Sizing John in a good position throughout the race, finishing ahead of Minella Rocco (18-1) and Native River (7-2).

""Unbelievable, Jessica Harrington is a genius,"" said Power, who won the Grand National on the Gordon Elliott-trained Silver Birch in 2007.

""I always said when this horse stepped up in trip he"d win. Everyone has done a top-class job. It means more than any winner I"ve ridden for Jessica. I was only 25 when I won the National and I"m 35 now. When you"re 25 you think you can win everything, so this is very special.""

Sizing John, a 7-year-old, has previously done most of his racing over two miles. But this year connections decided to race him over a longer distance with notable success - winning the Irish Gold Cup last month.

""It"s absolutely fantastic. My first runner in a Gold Cup,"" Harrington said. ""I don"t know when I"ll come down to earth. This is the jewel in the crown. I"ve been watching and listening for as long as I can remember.""

Djakadam, twice the runner-up, travelled well for most of the race and looked as though he might finally win for Willie Mullins. But after making a costly jumping error at the second-to-last fence. he faded to finish fourth.