De Boinville misses King George on Coneygree

De Boinville on Coneygree: jockey set to miss out due to injury

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
De Boinville misses King George on Coneygree By Scott Burton 7:55PM 15 DEC 2016

NICO DE BOINVILLE will miss the King George ride on his Gold Cup-winning partner Coneygree after specialists said his broken arm needs more time to heal.

Although having set no timescale for his return to the saddle after breaking his arm in three places in mid-November, De Boinville had hoped there was a chance he would be back for the 32Red-sponsored showpiece at Kempton, where Coneygree is set to line up against his Haydock conqueror Cue Card.

Assistant trainer Sara Bradstock said she would leave it to agent Dave Roberts to get Coneygree "the best rider we can have" but admitted that Richard Johnson – the only jockey other than De Boinville to have partnered the extravagant front-runner over fences – was the preferred choice for herself and husband Mark.

Following a return to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on Thursday, De Boinville said: "The consultant is very happy with it but he just felt it needs a bit more time – it has been just over four weeks – so we'll probably review it towards the new year. I won't be sitting on a horse for a while yet.

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"It feels really good and everyone involved is really happy with it. Everyone at Oaksey House is happy but bones don't knit overnight. You've got to be sensible and listen to the professionals."

De Boinville has been concentrating on physiotherapy at the Injured Jockeys Fund rehabilation centre in Lambourn and is yet to resume riding out.

'We just have to hope and pray we can have him'

The Bradstocks now have the twin worries of securing a jockey for Coneygree and hoping the ground doesn't get too fast at Kempton for the 2015 Gold Cup winner.

"It's impossible for anyone to know at this stage who will be available and so to try to tie someone down now is going to mean that we won't get the best," said Sara Bradstock.

"I′ll leave it in the capable hands of Dave Roberts. He knows what our preferences are and he'll get us the best we can have. The news I heard is that he didn't think that Richard Johnson was going to be claimed but you never know, he may be riding somewhere else."

The Bradstocks turned to Johnson for the Betfair Chase following De Boinville's injury but were only guaranteed his services when Philip Hobbs withdrew Menorah owing to soft ground.

Until that point Aidan Coleman had been on standby for the ride.

"At least we are in the position that everyone wants to ride him!" said Bradstock. "It's a nightmare because he's a very easy ride but, at the same time, he's a freak in the way he does it. Nico knows him so well. Obviously Richard also knows him so we just have to hope and pray we can have him."

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