Coneygree returns after winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup Image reproduced with the kind permission of Eric Belshaw

Image reproduced with the kind permission of Eric Belshaw

Last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree will miss next week’s King George VI Chase at Kempton Park, after being reported as “not 100 per cent” by Sara Bradstock, wife of trainer Mark Bradstock.

Sara Bradstock said: “I ride him in all his work and know every step he takes. He had been in flying form last week but was not himself on Saturday.

“He just wasn’t 100 per cent and there’s no point running in the King George if he isn’t right. It is important not to take any risks.

“I just know he’s not himself. We’re not taking any risks.

“He is fragile and we want him to be completely on song when he runs.

“We’ll obviously take veterinary advice and then I’m sure the horse will tell us when he’s right again.

“I know every breath he takes, I know every step he takes, I know exactly how he is and he’s just not feeling good.

“We’ll still hopefully on for the Gold Cup, and maybe something before that.”

Coneygree missed over a year after winning at Sandown Park in early November of 2015. He made a pleasing return in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase when finishing 15 lengths second to Cue Card, although he lost his unbeaten record over fences in that contest.