Coneygree set to return in the autumn

Mark Bradstock has reiterated Coneygree will not race this season but could make his comeback in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

Coneygree set to return in the autumn

Winner of the Gold Cup last year as a novice, he was ruled out of a defence of his crown with an injury.

His recovery is going well but while he is back in exercise, Bradstock was keen to stress he will not be running any time soon.

“Everything is great, he goes out twice a day for about 40 minutes each time. He looks great,” Bradstock told At The Races.

“We’ve been exercising him for about a month now and gradually stepping him up.

“He won’t be supplemented for the Gold Cup, though!

“We’ll get to the stage of cantering before we put him away (for summer). He won’t have a long summer holiday, we’ll get him in nice and early and probably aim for the Wetherby race.

“The vets are giving us encouraging signals, everything went to plan. He’s an extraordinary horse, very little fazes him.”

Meanwhile Dan Skelton admitted Al Ferof will have no excuses if he fails to win the Ryanair Chase.

Winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle for Paul Nicholls in 2011 when those behind included Cue Card and Sprinter Sacre, he is now an 11-year-old.

Moved to Skelton for this season he won the Peterborough Chase before finishing third for the third successive year in the King George at Kempton.

“He’s really good, he definitely goes there and I’ve had a very clear run with him,” Skelton said.

“He’ll be as good as he can be on the day.

“Given the run I’ve had I’ve got absolutely no excuses whatsoever so if he goes and finishes third behind a couple of younger horses then that’s racing.

“I won’t be stood there saying I had bad luck two weeks ago - I hope not anyway, there’s still two weeks to go.”

Al Ferof is around 5-1 for the Ryanair.

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