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 £1 million 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 Weatherby 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. We will keep you posted!
We are very pleased with the rest of our small string. All have been enjoying the new all weather gallop and are much further forward than we usually are at this time of the year, so we are all excited for what the next few months could bring.