Coneygree fine after battling performance on Cheltenham comeback

Sun 18 Nov 2018

Coneygree has been given a clean bill of health after his thrilling comeback run at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The Mark Bradstock-trained 11-year-old, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2015, went out on his shield when third to Rock The Kasbah.

His career since that famous day almost four years ago has been hampered by a succession of injuries and he was making just his sixth start after reaching the pinnacle.

“He’s fine, understandably a bit stiff, but essentially he’s OK,” Bradstock told Racing UK’s Luck On Sunday.

“I think the biggest issue last year was Wetherby where he struck into himself, in hindsight that was a lot worse than everybody actually thought, he ripped quite a bit of his foot off.

“Then a breathing issue surfaced at Newbury and he had a tongue tie on for the first time yesterday and that seemed to help a bit.”

He went on: “I think his run yesterday put a few people back in their box. I never considered retirement because mentally he is still in a very good place.

“One has to be very careful but we are the last people who would ever put a horse in a position that was detrimental to their health and well being.

“The issue was always going to be ground, we tried to go to Down Royal, we wanted to go to Ascot but everybody is in the same boat. It was plenty quick enough but we walked it and asked plenty of jockeys who all said it was safe.

“We’ll take it hour-by-hour with him. My wife spends an awful lot of time with him and I have to give a lot of the credit to her. He sadly doesn’t particularly like me but I let him off for that!

“The response he got yesterday, the whole way back, it brought a tear to your eye, it was magical, that is one of the wonderful things about National Hunt racing.”

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