Lexus Chase winner Pandorama has suffered an injury that will force him to miss the Irish Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown on February 6.
Noel Meade’s eight-year-old has a bruised hock that connections are hoping will only keep him out for a matter of weeks.
Owner Robert Bagnall still has his heart set on running him in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and has his fingers crossed the setback clears up in time.
Bagnall told At The Races: “We think he got a little bit of a knock in his box on Thursday and Noel brought him out on Friday for a small canter and he came home slightly lame.
“Over the weekend Noel walked him and he appeared to be all right, but he came back lame again this morning and we hope he’s just bruised his hock.
“We’ve done an X-ray and at first there appeared to be a little crack in his hock, but then we X-rayed the other hock as well and it was identical.
“We’re just sincerely hoping it’s only a bruise. It will mean resting him for a week and that obviously rules him out of the Hennessy.
“It’s my lifelong ambition to get to Cheltenham and when I asked Noel on his thinking over the Gold Cup, he said the chances were a good 50-50 that we’d still get him there.”