Connections of Coneygree have said that they are confident that he will be healthy and able to “do himself justice” in the Kerry National at Listowel on September 13th.
In 2015 the 10-year-old became the first novice in 41 years to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup but since then injuries have restricted him to just three competitive starts.
However, in April he ran an excellent race in defeat when a close third in the Punchestown Gold Cup and connections are now happy with his condition ahead of his return to the track in just under two weeks’ time.
Sara Bradstock, the wife of trainer Mark, said, “We’re very happy with him and with two weeks to go, we’re on target for Listowel. We were going to take him to Worcester for a gallop, but the ground was too firm. We’ve set up a few fences on the all-weather here at home and we’ll just have to do that. I don’t think we’ll get him away (for a gallop) now.”
She went on to say that there will still be lots of work done and that the race is “very much preparation for the season” but that she’s sure he will do himself justice.
It is almost certain that Coneygree will have to carry top weight in the event on day four of the seven-day Harvest Festival, but Bradstock is not concerned.
“The weight won’t bother him. I think he’s carried 11st 10lb for every run since he was a novice hurdler,” said Bradstock.
She went on to say that the question is whether horses carrying 10st will find it easier to lay up with him. She said that “common sense tells you they won’t and he should actually find it easier, but you still want to see him go and do it and then we’ll know whether he can try and do the same in the Hennessy (Ladbrokes Gold Cup, Newbury).”