2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, Sizing John, failed to make an impression on his first appearance in two years as he fell over hurdles at Punchestown.

The nine-year-old was the star attraction on Tuesday as punters tried to catch a glimpse of Jessica Harrington’s charge.

Harrington identified the Bet With Tote at Punchestown Hurdle as the ideal race for Sizing John earlier this year, with the fan favourite having been injured for the last two years.

He looked to have found his rhythm, but fell at the third-last flight –although he emerged unscathed. Sizing John was partnered by Barry Geraghty for the first time since 2016, and the Irish jockey said things were going to plan until the minor error.

Geraghty told the Racing Post: “It was going to plan and he absolutely flew the third-last, but he just seemed to stumble, he just couldn’t get his landing gear out fully. He just isn’t used to jumping at that speed. He felt great up to that point.”

Sizing John’s error allowed Burrows Saint to kick on and win the race for Willie Mullins. The legendary Irish trainer also saw his stable dominate the top four, with Saglawy, Sayo and Stratum all finishing behind Burrows Saint.

Harrington has since confirmed on Twitter that Sizing John seems fine, and connections will be hoping he can still run in the Gold Cup in March.

Kemboy remains the 6/1 favourite for Cheltenham’s Blue Riband race, while last year’s winner Al Boum Photo is also fancied at odds of 7/1.

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