Coneygree ‘just needs a bit of time’

Coneygree will be given time to get over what is ailing him before connections attempt to crack on getting him ready for a return to action.

Sara Bradstock and Coneygree, the horse she knows better than anyone else.

The husband-and-wife team of trainer Mark and Sara Bradstock ruled the nine-year-old out of the 32Red King George VI Chase after he did not shine in a gallop on Saturday.

Coneygree has been restricted to two races since becoming the first novice for 41 years to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup as a novice in 2015.

He put in a most encouraging performance in his first run for a year when runner-up to Cue Card in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month.

However as he was not 100% at the weekend, connections have scrapped plans to run him at Kempton on Boxing Day and will hold fire until he gives the right signs.

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"I just know the horse so well that we are not taking any risks. It will come out in the washing what's ailing him," said Sara Bradstock.

"We're not talking about him being so lame or anything like that. He's just not quite right.

"He's fragile so there's no point running him with those legs of his if he's not in top working order.

"It's always been the top five-star treatment for him and we know we're right not to run him.

"We're all of the agreement that we'll give him a week or two and before we crack on and the vets will check him over to see if everything is all right.

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"We just want to give him a chance to come back to himself.

"He's had just the one run in such a long time. They talk about the 'bounce factor' and he came out of that race feeling awesome. Three weeks later, he doesn't. Perhaps, that's the 'bounce factor'? It may be that's all that is wrong with him. We have to be cautious with him. He just needs a bit of time."

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