Bradstock eyeing January return for Gold Cup hero Coneygree after wind op
Coneygree may be back on the track in the new year after trainer Mark Bradstock revealed he could return in time for the Cotswold Chase on Cheltenham's Trials Day at the end of January, despite having a wind operation since pulling up in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
The 2015 Gold Cup hero jumped well in the main on his last start before a mistake caused him to fade. Jockey Nico de Boinville eased him down, reporting the ten-year-old made a noise.
The contest formerly run as the Hennessy was the second race in as many starts this season Coneygree had failed to finish, with De Boinville also pulling him up in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby.
"He's had his wind op and we're looking to have him back on the track around the end of January, beginning of February," Bradstock revealed on Monday. "If the Cotswold Chase came a bit quick, which it might, we could look at something like the Denman Chase.
'I'm really pleased'
"It will take him a bit of time to get over having his wind done but the Cotswold is not until the end of January, so you never know – that's the sort of time we're trying to aim for. We can always give him that little bit more time and go to Newbury. Everything else is grand with him. I'm really pleased."
After a second disappointment of the season in the Ladbrokes Trophy there were calls on social media to retire what is one of the most popular horses in training, due in no small part to the David-versus-Goliath nature of the Bradstocks' operation and their connection to the much-loved Lord Oaksey.
But it was only in April Coneygree showed plenty of the sensational talent that carried him to Gold Cup glory – becoming the first novice to win the race in 41 years – remained when he finished third behind Sizing John and Djakadam in a ding-dong Punchestown Gold Cup. The fact connections are eyeing a pair of Gold Cup trials suggest they believe Coneygree can still cut it.
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