NEW BLOW FOR GREE
Coney’s career in the balance
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