NEW BLOW FOR GREE

Coney’s ca­reer in the bal­ance

Irish Daily Mirror - - SPORT - BY ANDY MACMORRIN

sara BRADSTOCK is re­fus­ing to give up on Coney­gree de­spite rul­ing the 2015 Chel­tenham Gold Cup hero out for the rest of the sea­son due to a stress frac­ture of his tibia.

The 11-year-old has suf­fered a cat­a­logue of in­juries, both be­fore and af­ter be­com­ing the first novice in 41 years to claim the blue riband race.

he was pulled up on his two starts this sea­son, hav­ing suf­fered an over­reach and a breath­ing prob­lem. But hav­ing sub­se­quently un­der­gone a wind op­er­a­tion, con­nec­tions were hope­ful he would re­dis­cover his best form.

how­ever, he missed his in­tended prep race for Chel­tenham in last week­end’s Den­man Chase at New­bury and has now been scratched from the Gold Cup.

sara Bradstock, as­sis­tant trainer to her hus­band Mark, said: “he had re­sponded fan­tas­ti­cally well to the wind op­er­a­tion and he has re­cently done a cou­ple of in­cred­i­ble pieces of work — they re­ally were quite star­tling.

“But, sadly, he came back lame af­ter the last one and it was later re­vealed he had a stress frac­ture of his tibia.

“he’s out now, prob­a­bly for the rest of the sea­son. But we’re not giv­ing up yet and hope­fully we’ll give it one last go next sea­son. The minute he comes out of his sta­ble and tells us he doesn’t want to do it — and I feel ev­ery step he takes — we’ll re­tire him, but we’re def­i­nitely not at that stage yet.“

As ex­pected, Bris­tol De Mai and Cloudy Dream are also among the 11 horses scratched from next month’s Gold Cup which is headed by 7-2 favourite Might Bite.

IN­JURY HIT Coney­gree has a stress frac­ture of the fibia

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