Injury set to rule Coneygree out of Gold Cup

Coneygree: won the Gold Cup as a novice in 2015

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker ( Injury to rule Coneygree out of Cheltenham By Keith Melrose 12:01PM 9 JAN 2017

FORMER Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree, who took the race as a novice in 2015, will not be entered in the race this year after connections revealed that he has not recovered sufficiently from the injuries that kept him out over Christmas.

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Coneygree has run just twice since his fairytale success under Nico De Boinville for Mark and Sara Bradstock, the more recent coming when he finished second to Cue Card in November's Betfair Chase, his first defeat over fences.

He had been due to run in the King George on Boxing Day, but missed that due to another "niggly" setback and Sara Bradstock said on Monday: "We're not going to enter him in the Gold Cup. If everything changed and suddenly everything looked perfect, his x-rays and him, we could supplement him, but I'm not going to enter him because I'm 90 per cent certain he will not run."

"It's all too quick. It's only two months from now and he's still only walking and we're not going to be there in top form," she continued.

Injuries have plagued Coneygree's career. He also missed the season after his novice hurdle campaign, which helped connections to decide on the fast-track route to the Gold Cup when he eventually did start out over fences.

He may yet run again this season, according to Bradstock. "He'll definitely have some spring target and could go to Aintree or Punchestown unless something else goes wrong," she said. "We just need to do this right."

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