Cheltenham Launch Security Review

Mon 20th Mar 2017, 10:11

Sizing John pictured returning to the winners enclosure
©Healy Racing Photos
Officials at Cheltenham have launched an investigation after an intruder led Timico Gold Cup hero Sizing John into the famous winner's enclosure.

There were scenes of wild celebration in the parade ring on Friday as popular trainer Jessica Harrington claimed Gold Cup glory with her first ever runner in the blue riband.

A sizeable entourage joined the winning connections as Sizing John returned triumphant, but photos later revealed an unnamed man who was not part of the successful team had gatecrashed the party.

Ian Renton, the racecourse's managing director, said: " On the whole we have greatly improved our security in the paddock and we've reduced the number of intruders who have no right to be there.

"Unfortunately, from time to time one does slip through the net, as has been the case on this occasion.

"I believe the man in question has been identified and we are currently looking into the circumstances of how he came to be there."

It is not the first time the man has gatecrashed post-race celebrations at Prestbury Park, with the same individual also present when Collier Bay won the 1996 Champion Hurdle.

He also appeared next to Frankel after the great horse rounded off his unbeaten career with victory in the 2012 Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Hero's Return For Gold Cup Winners

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John received a hero's welcome when he was paraded on Sunday evening in the small County Kildare village of Moone.

THE IRISH TIMES