Having had a rather quiet time in terms of winners and enjoyed watching Cheltenham last week I thought it best to write about one of the best stories in recent years. Furthermore, being a member of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, I hope Coneygree's Gold Cup success stands to represent an upturn in British breeding.
Coneygree's story is one of perseverance; faith and loyalty. If I am honest I would be the first to say that novice's should stay in novice company but it seems the Bradstock's decision to run in the Gold Cup was an inspired one. In an age when everyone is everyone else's biggest critic it was admirable of the Bradstocks to not be guided by the naysayers but the belief in their horse. I wonder how Lord Oaksey would have reported Coneygree's success as it was wasn't just Something to brighten the morning but more something to give hope to many for years to come. The rain came on the right day and whether it made all the difference on the day we will never know but the 2016 Gold Cup is already looking to be a corker provided all the protagonists get there in good heart.
A British-bred Gold Cup winner - the first since Master Oats in 1995 - is a timely one when top-flight winners foaled in this country are sparse. Sizing John and Lieutenant Colonel have recently flown the flag after Simonsig was once the great white hope. The satisfaction in success that Coneygree has provided is something that money simply cannot buy and the loyalty the Bradstock's showed Nico De Boinville unparalleled. A spirit-stirring ride from the front that meant that he emulated the last novice - Captain Christy - to win the Gold Cup in 1974. It is hoped that British-breeders can take solace in his success and endeavour to produce more a few more like him; patience and faith needing to be the main ingredient.