2015 winner Coneygree out of Cheltenham Gold Cup
10-year-old has been restricted to just two runs since winning race as a novice
2015 winner Coneygree is out of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Photograph: Getty/Alan Crowhurst
Coneygree will miss this year’s Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup as he continues to recover from a setback.
Winner of the 2015 renewal as a novice but ruled out of last year’s running, the 10-year-old missed the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and has been restricted to just one outing this campaign, when chasing home Cue Card in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November.
Sara Bradstock, assistant and wife of trainer Mark, said: “I’m afraid it’s (Gold Cup) not going to happen, which is a real shame.
“When you have a horse like this you must not take any risks and there is no point going there half-baked.
“He has just niggled the bone, where the cannon bone meets the knee. He is still walking at the moment, but we must not take a risk as these niggling things can turn into fractures.
“We will not rush him and we will make sure he is fine before he comes back.
“He will do plenty of swimming and other stuff. Hopefully he will go to Punchestown and win the Irish equivalent.”
She added: “We might just give him a change of scenery and run him in the French Champion Hurdle, which is over three miles and is usually run on soft ground.
“He might possibly make Aintree, but only time will tell.
“I think we ran him on ground we had not trained him on at Haydock, as it had only rained those two days there and there had been no soft ground to train him on.
“He ran a great race at Haydock, but he might have been feeling this coming on.
“He has no miles on the clock and I’m hoping he can become a veteran record-breaker and a novice record-breaker.
“He is in very good nick, mentally, and is full of himself.”