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Noel Meade Plays Down Pandorama Gold Cup Chances


Despite a first-rate record in virtually all formats of jumps racing, conditioner Noel Meade took the rare opportunity to play down Pandorama’s chances of Cheltenham Gold Cup success. The talented son of Flemensfirth has been laid-off since a score in the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown back in December and Meade was adamant that experience could be Pando’s undoing – not the lack of prep races.

Speaking to At The Races, Meade declared “I don’t think the lack of a run is going to be a problem… He’s very inexperienced.”

The eight year-old was pulled up after a mile in his seasonal debut at Newbury a month prior to the Leopardstown score. Going has been an issue for Pandorama prior to this and Meade made it clear that he would prefer softer going.

“If we get good to soft ground that will be OK but what we don’t want is the sun to come out with a drying wind. I think it should be fine but there is nothing we can do about it.”

In the past 24 hours, Cheltenham’s Clerk of the Course Simon Claisse upgraded the current conditions to “good to soft” on both the chase and hurdles courses. The going had previously been listed at soft, good to soft in places. With a forecast of wet weather before this weekend, and the possibility of light snow on the weekend itself, Pandorama’s ante post backers may be getting the type of surface they’ve been pining for.

Pandorama is trading at a competitive price of 14/1 with most major bookmakers ahead of the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

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