Jessica Harrington has confirmed that the Gold Cup winner Sizing John will be attempting the National Hunt Triple Crown after it was announced by Jockey Club racecourses that a £1 million bonus is on offer.
If a horse wins the Betfair Chase at Haydock, the King George VI Chase at Kempton and the Gold Cup at Cheltenham then its connections will receive the huge bonus.
Since the bonus was first offered in 2005 only Kauto Star has won the three races in the same season. Cue Card came extremely close a couple of years ago but fell in the Gold Cup after winning the first two legs.
Sizing John has previously won a treble at Cheltenham, Punchestown and Leopardstown, but will have his sights set on a different set of Grade Ones this year.
Speaking this week Harrington said, “This bonus is a great extra incentive and builds the season towards a crescendo for the sport. Ever since Sizing John won in April at Punchestown we have had the Triple Crown on our minds. Our aim is to start him off in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November. He looks fantastic and we are really keen to have a crack at the £1 million bonus for winning the three races. It’s exciting to have a horse to run in these races.”
Colin Tizzard will also be going for the bonus again with Cue Card after winning the Haydock event for three of the last four seasons.
Speaking recently he said, “It’s fantastic that the £1 million is on offer again. Having come so close to winning it two years ago with Cue Card and winning the Betfair Chase again last year we are really excited for the season ahead. Who’s to say this won’t be his year?”