The new season beckons, and the anticipation is unbearable as we prepare our old stars for comeback heroics. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, we also have some of the youngsters who are about to start their careers (more on that in the next blog post).
Our beloved Coneygree (Max) has made an excellent recovery and has finished his rehabilitation programme. He is now cantering on our new Andrews Bowen Soundtrack gallop and, dare I say it, feels better than ever. It is never easy to comeback at such a high level following an injury, but I truly believe that he has the focus to pick up the winning thread quickly and he is physically feeling in great order.
Provided his training continues in the same vein, he will be ready to run in time for the Bet365 Charlie Hall Steeplechase which is taking place on Saturday 29th October. This is quite a significant race for Coneygree’s comeback race, as it’s regarded as one of the crucial early season trials for quality chasers, particularly in the long lead up to the Cheltenham Festival. And as a previous Gold Cup winner, we all know where we are hoping he will be headed next year!
Of course, that is a tentative target and will depend entirely on the weather. He will not run until the ground is genuinely on the soft side of good and if that means we do not run until the Betfair Chase at Haydock (19th November) or even the Hennessey Gold Cup at Newbury then so be it. The ground will be the greatest influence in our decision of where to run him but we are feeling very optimistic and the million pound bonus has been discussed!
Brothers Flintham and the old man Carruthers will be the latest to be back in training. Sadly Flintham jarred himself when running in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham and so we have decided to aim him at novice chases when the ground eases. Carruthers retains all his enthusiasm for life as a racehorse and until he tells us otherwise (he has always been quick to make his opinions known) he will continue to run in point-to-points and hunter chases with Lily as his capable jockey. They have developed a great partnership and we are excited to see how they fare over the next season.