Coney Island on Gold Cup trail
Last Updated: 02/01/18 1:09pm
Coney Island is likely to have one more run before potentially bidding for Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in March.
The JP McManus-owned seven-year-old split Our Duke and Disko when runner-up in a Grade One novice chase at Leopardstown last Christmas, but was subsequently sidelined for a year by injury.
Connections decided to bring him back in a graduation chase instead of pitching him in at the highest level in Leopardstown's Christmas Chase and it looked a wise call as he jumped sloppily early on before gradually warming to his task and winning decisively.
Trainer Eddie Harty said: "He's come back in good form and we're very happy with him.
"He was a bit ring-rusty early on and because they went so quick in front he didn't have an easy time of it.
"The reality is they probably went a bit too hard in front, but once our horse got into a rhythm he picked up well and did it well.
"We're happy we decided to go there instead of running in the Grade One in Leopardstown. It was the right thing to do for the horse."
Several races both in Ireland and England are under consideration for Coney Island before the Festival in March, but Harty is in no rush to firm up plans.
He added: "He'll get an entry in the Irish Gold Cup in Leopardstown and we'll see where we are nearer the time. I don't think he'll run before February anyway.
"There's also the Red Mills Chase (at Gowran Park) and there are a couple of options back in England if we decided to go that way.
"It was his first run in a year the other day so we won't be rushing him back. We'll just wait until he's fresh and well again and go from there."
Coney Island is a best priced 12-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.