Monday 19 February 2018

Upping the ante

Coneygree's front-running performance at Punchestown behind Sizing John on his comeback run was excellent. Stock photo: Getty Images
Coneygree's front-running performance at Punchestown behind Sizing John on his comeback run was excellent. Stock photo: Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

The inclusion of Coneygree in the field for the 2017 Guinness Kerry National rendered it a more intriguing race than it usually is.

The raider, trained by Mark Bradstock, won the Gold Cup only two-and-a-half years ago when a novice. He has been a little fragile but his front-running performance at Punchestown behind Sizing John on his comeback run was excellent.

He was set to revert to handicap company at Listowel but connections have decided to pull him out because of the ground, which seems bizarre in the extreme. Coneygree's best performance was winning the Gold Cup on soft, so how what is effectively summer soft to heavy would be a problem is lost on this writer.

His being scratched is great news for the rest and will see the weights go up. Road To Riches, arguably the other genuine Grade One-quality horse in the race, could be the value at 25/1.

The Gamut gelding did not run a bad race in the Galway Plate and connections feel that at this stage of his life he needs a trip like Wednesday's. He was 12/1 in Galway, is now 2lb lower in a weaker race yet is double that price now. He could roll back the years. BET: Road To Riches in Kerry National, 1pt e/w 25/1

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