Gold Cup hero returns

Jump racing returns to Sandown Park this Sunday with Gold Cup champion Coneygree featuring on a competitive card.

Despite having claimed the biggest prize of the festival last season, Coneygree is eligible for an intermediate chase as a second season chaser.

Ironically, last season’s star lines up in the ‘Future Stars Chase’ on Sunday afternoon.

The son of Plaid Maid dazzled spectators with his scintillating jumping last season, which saw him remain unbeaten over fences and claim graded success on three occasions.

Coneygree looks set for another strong season, with the Hennessey reportedly the next target as the Bradstock’s seek further big race glory.

Despite their desire, Coneygree was a notable absentee from the King George VI entries this week. Having won over course and distance, and then proved himself at the highest level, many assumed Coneygree would line up against regulars Silviniaco Conti, Dynaste and the rising stars from Ireland in Don Cossack and Vautor.

Bradstock revealed this week that Coneygree was an intended entry until a computer glitch, but they remain upbeat.

“It could be irrelevant because if everything goes to plan on Sunday and he heads for the Hennessy and runs in that, he probably wouldn’t go for the King George, anyway.

“The King George is almost certainly going to come too quick after the Hennessy – the only way you’d run in both is if he sauntered round in the Hennessy, did it very easily and came out of it bouncing or, God forbid, he fell over early.”

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