19-12-2016 Racing News
Published: 3rd January 2017
By AM FREE Racing Tips
Connections of both Josses Hill and Thistlecrack are considering a tilt at the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day following the surprise withdrawal of Coneygree.
The look of this year’s field changed radically yesterday and may do so again on today following the news that Mark Bradstock’s stable star will miss the race.
Assistant trainer Sara Bradstock was unhappy with his gallop on Saturday after putting the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner through his paces on with one eye on the festive outing at Kempton.
After the news broke, the favourite for the festive showpiece, Cue Card, was cut from 6-4 to a best price of Even money with Bet365. Thistlecrack, his stablemate at Colin Tizzard’s yard, is second-favourite at 3-1 and, again, the absence of Coneygree must make him a more likely runner.
It appears that Valseur Lido, the leading Irish contender according to the betting, will skip the big race in favour of the Lexus Chase, at Leopardstown, two days later.
Meanwhile, Gordon Elliott is eyeing the Red Mills Chase at Gowran in February as a possible starting point for last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack.
The nine-year-old suffered a tendon injury while being prepared to run at Punchestown in April, but Elliott reports him to be making steady progress in his recovery.
Elliott is keen to give Don Cossack a relatively low-key return, with the Grade Two event at Gowran one of his preferred options at present.
The in-form Irish handler continued his magnificent recent form with a four-timer yesterday.
Having taken the feature Navan Novice Hurdle with Death Duty, Automated came from last to first to give Elliott and jockey Bryan Cooper a quickfire double in the Tara
Glenloe then gave Elliott a 55/1 treble when just getting the better of Call The Taxie after a prolonged battle in the John Lynch Carpets Maiden Hurdle.
The last of the trainer’s winners at Navan came in the ‘Future Champions’ INH Flat Race when big-money purchase Samcro maintained his unbeaten record under Jamie Codd.r
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