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Ireland-trained Sizing John wins Gold Cup

Sizing John ridden by Robbie Power clears a fence as they make their way to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse Cheltenham England, Friday March 17, 2017. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

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.

Updated March 17, 2017

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