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CONEY CROCKED

Former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree ruled out of the rest of the season with an injury

Sara Bradstock reports Coneygree has picked up a stress fracture and will not run again this season

SARA BRADSTOCK is not giving up on Coneygree, despite the chaser suffering another injury which has ruled him out for the rest of the season.

The fragile 11-year-old has picked up a stress fracture to his tibia which has ruled him out of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

 Coneygree has been ruled out for the rest of the season
PA
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Coneygree has been ruled out for the rest of the season

He has not regained his best form this season but connections had hoped a wind operation would see him bounce back.

However, he missed his intended prep race for the Gold Cup last weekend and will now not make it to Cheltenham.

 

Sara Bradstock, assistant to her husband Mark, told Press Association Sport: "Unfortunately we've had another dip on the rollercoaster ride that is Coneygree.

"He really had responded fantastically well to the wind operation and he has recently done a couple of incredible pieces of work - they really were quite startling.

 Coneygree has suffered a number of injuries in his career
PA
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Coneygree has suffered a number of injuries in his career

"Sadly, he came back lame after the last one, so we sent him off for a bone scan which unfortunately revealed a stress fracture of his tibia.

"He's out now, probably for the rest of the season as we don't want to patch him up and go to Punchestown or something like that.

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"It is incredibly disappointing as we really felt that extra spark he showed before he won the Gold Cup was back, but that's Coneygree.

"Unfortunately, the engine is much stronger than the chassis."

 Sara Bradstock walks Coneygree through the local village
Getty Images
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Sara Bradstock walks Coneygree through the local village

Bradstock added that she feels he is not ready to retire just yet despite his many setbacks.

"Hopefully we'll give it one last go next season. We're not giving up yet and what is exciting is that he was going so well before this happened," she added.

"Obviously he owes us nothing and the minute he comes out of his stable and tells us he doesn't want to do it - and I feel every step he takes - we'll retire him, but we're definitely not at that stage yet.

"He still loves it and still has all that old enthusiasm.

"I just thank god that we didn't listen to all those wise people a few years ago who said we shouldn't go for the Gold Cup, otherwise we'd be where we are now having only won the RSA Chase."

Dom Joly gets ready for the Cheltenham Festival