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Published: 16:15 | 21/12/15

No timescale on Coneygree return

Connections have yet to discover whether Coneygree will run again this season.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup winner travelled to Newmarket on Wednesday to undergo tests on the hock injury that has ruled him out of both the King George VI Chase at Kempton and the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

While the injury is not thought to be career-threatening, it is unclear whether he will run before the end of the campaign.

"He's in Newmarket (Equine Hospital) and is still being assessed by Ian Wright, who is one of the orthopaedic surgeons there," Sara Bradstock, wife of trainer Mark, reported.

"All he has told me so far is that he's injured his hock, they are dealing with it and that the long-term prognosis is good.

"He'll be back for sure, whether that is for the end of this season or next season, we don't know at this stage."

Coneygree ran out an impressive winner at Sandown on his seasonal debut before missing the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. He was being prepared for a run over Christmas when he was found to be injured.

While there is a chance he could return before the end of the season, Bradstock admits he could be given an extended break if the Cheltenham Gold Cup is not a realistic target.

"He's had time off before and we've brought him back, so we know we're able to do that - we know the horse has the enthusiasm to come back from a lay-off," she said.

"He can still win another Gold Cup, whether that's this season or next.

"With a lesser horse, you might try and squeeze in something at the back-end of the season, but if he isn't going to make it (Gold Cup), we might as well give him the time (to recover) - that's the way I'm thinking about things at the moment.

"As soon as we know how long he'll be out for, we'll let people know, but I don't know when that will be at the moment.

"He'll stay in Newmarket for a few days, anyway."

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