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Meade just can't figure out why his Very Wood did so very bad

Noel Meade is at a loss to explain Cheltenham Festival hero Very Wood's abject display at Punchestown on Sunday.

The Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle winner was a hot favourite for the Grade Two Florida Pearl Novice Chase, having made a victorious start to his career over fences at Galway at the end of October.

However, he was in trouble a long way out in the hands of Bryan Cooper, who eventually pulled the Gigginstown-owned five-year-old up at the top of the home straight.

Meade said: "The vet checked him out after the race and he seemed fine. He blew a bit for a horse that was pulled up, but we scoped him and that's come back clean, so it's all a bit of a mystery.

"If you'd asked me going into the weekend what my best chance of a winner was I would have said him, but, for whatever reason, he had an off-day. He definitely won't run in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse (on Sunday week) and while I haven't spoken with Eddie (O'Leary, Gigginstown Stud manager) about plans yet I would say we'll wait until Christmas and run him then."

The County Meath-based trainer enjoyed a much better result in the Craddockstown Novice Chase on the same card after Chancol ran out a decisive winner. "The thing about Chancol is he's a horse who will hopefully only improve," he said.


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