Nico de Boinville and Coneygree after the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill 9:01PM 8 JAN 2017
THE prospect of 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree lining up at the festival this year looked remote on Sunday night with connections seriously questioning whether they will have the ten-year-old ready in time.
Coneygree missed the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton at the end of last year after producing a below-par workout. He was subsequently found to be jarred up and ruled out of having a prep run before the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 17.
Trainer Mark Bradstock and owners The Max Partnership are yet to settle on a decision, but speaking to the Guardian Sara Bradstock said on Sunday: “We will talk with his owners before any final decision but it doesn’t look as though we will take the Cheltenham route, which would be the right thing for the horse.”
Coneygree returned from over a year off with injury to be second to Cue Card in the Betfair Chase in November.
Should he be steered away from Cheltenham, for which entries are made on Tuesday, races such as the Bowl Chase at the Aintree Grand National meeting and the Punchestown Gold Cup are possible alternatives.
Coneygree is the general 12-1 third favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup alongside last year’s winner Don Cossack and behind Thistlecrack and Native River.