King George looks Coneygree’s Christmas target

Assistant trainer Sara Bradstock has dropped a major hint that Coneygree’s next assignment will be the William Hill King George VI Chase on December 26.

King George looks Coneygree’s Christmas target

The Cheltenham Gold Cup hero missed the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday after failing to sparkle in a schooling session last Tuesday.

Speaking after Coneygree was ruled out of the Hennessy, Bradstock identified either the King George or the Lexus Chase at Christmas as the next port of call but her comments yesterday suggest Kempton rather than Leopardstown will be the next port of call.

Coneygree will need to be supplemented for the King George after he was missing from the last entry stage with connections blaming a “computer glitch”.

However, he has been campaigned adventurously and Bradstock feels Kempton would be the bigger challenge.

“He will run where he is well and if he’s really well, the King George would be the biggest ask,” said Bradstock.

“You’re going to have a back-on-form Cue Card, Vautour, who did look perfectly beatable the other day but that may not have been him, and all the other horses who just may be able to produce another gear off his gallop.”

Coneygree started his campaign with an effortless 25-length romp in his seasonal reappearance at Sandown.

Bradstock told Betfred TV: “It was wonderful to see him back where he left off as six months later you are always worried if they are going to be as good.

“He’s proved again and again that he takes horses out of their comfort zone and what we don’t want is soft, small fences as we want to make his fantastic jumping a big part of it.”

That capacity to gallop opponents into submission has drawn comparisons with 2008 Gold Cup hero and dual Hennesy winner Denman but Bradstock joked her ambition was for Coneygree to be measured against the legendary Arkle.

“I want him to be considered great,” she said. “I don’t mind if he’s compared to Denman but I’d prefer it to be Arkle!”

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