Coneygree connections may leave it till late to decide next target


Jump racing at Kempton Park.

By Simon Jackson.

Mark Bradstock has kept hopes alive that Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree may run in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

Connections must pay a £10,000 supplementary entry fee to add the eight-year-old – who this year became the first novice in 40 years to win the Cheltenham Gold cup – to the King George field.

Coneygree has not run since scoring a wide-margin victory in a Listed race at Sandown Park in early November. He was then forced to miss the Hennessy Gold Cup after disappointing in schooling in the lead-up to the race after suffering a foot problem.

The Gold Cup winner is entered in the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 28, but speaking at the William Hill Winter Festival Press Lunch in Richmond on Monday, Bradstock indicated a preference for staying in the UK.

“He has got an entry in the Lexus but being totally realistic if we were going for that we would probably have to leave on Boxing Day which is fine but we would definitely prefer to stay in England,” Bradstock said.

“But there are still quite a few things we have to get over. He is going to school tomorrow [Tuesday] for example.

“It does depend a lot on how he jumps tomorrow because we did discover before the Hennessy that his jumping was correct but not like he normally is and there is a few things like that [which will decide] what we do.

“To be really honest it [supplementing] hasn’t been discussed because this week is obviously very important in his training schedule and we will see how it goes and we don’t have to make that decision until later.”

Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.