Rethink for Coneygree team
Fast ground at Haydock has put paid to plans for 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree to have a racecourse gallop this weekend, but a trip to Merseyside is still on the cards for next month's Betfair Chase.
Coneygree: Won't work at Haydock because of fast ground
The nine-year-old remains unbeaten in five races over fences but has been restricted to just one run since his finest hour because of injury.
Writing on trainer Mark Bradstock's website, his wife and assistant Sara said: "Although slightly frustrated by the lack of rain, Coneygree has been galloping and schooling on our new Andrews Bowen Soundtrack all-weather gallop, and we are delighted with his progress.
"Both Nico (de Boinville) and I agree that he feels every bit as good, if not a little bit better than ever and the excitement of getting back on the track is mounting in the yard!
"We were hoping to be going for a racecourse gallop at Haydock this weekend (after the Flat fixture) but for the first time in many years, the ground is fast and not suitable for our champ.
"Kirkland Tellwright, the clerk of the course at Haydock, has been extremely helpful and is willing to reorganise when the weather changes.
"The overriding aim is to get him back on the track in full working order and while his welfare is always our top priority, we are being tempted by the idea of a tilt at the Jockey Club #1million Chase Triple Crown bonus that is on offer.
"We would only go for it if the ground was right for him and he was completely ready, so we are praying that the ground will come up soft at Haydock in time for the Betfair Chase.
"The Bet365 Charlie Hall at Wetherby has been considered as a comeback race option but with only three weeks between that race and the Betfair at Haydock, it is perhaps not ideal when he has been off the track for so long.
"However, he copes with his racing well, so it would be a possibility if the ground is right and we have not managed to get a satisfactory racecourse gallop into him in the meantime."
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