Horses To Follow » Pandorama


Pandorama looked anything but a natural over fences in the early stages of the two-and-a-half-mile beginners’ chase at Punchestown on Tuesday. Sent to the front from early by Paul Carberry, he seemed to want to pounce over his fences instead of jump them in a fluid easy movement, and he was decidedly out to his left the whole way. However, he should improve for this. It probably didn’t help that he was out on his own in front the whole way, and his jumping did get a fair bit more fluent as the race developed and he grew in confidence. In contrast, the runner-up Clan Tara travelled and jumped really well in behind Pandorama. He did make a fairly bad mistake at the fourth last, which couldn’t have helped, but he was quickly back on the bridle. He and Pandorama had it between them from the home turn, but Clan Tara looked the more likely winner between the final two fences as Pandorama came over towards the stands side. The Gigginstown House horse did keep on well over the last and up the run-in, and he is a useful recruit as well, no question, but Pandorama just had the bigger engine.

It is probable that people will want to be against Pandorama when he runs next, but that might be a mistake. In fairness to Noel Meade’s gelding, he did battle on really well over the last and up the run-in to win the race when he looked booked for second place. He will certainly need to improve his jumping if he is to fulfil his undoubted potential over fences, but at least some of that improvement should come with experience, and he should also be better if he can be ridden in behind horses and get a lead. He is also, obviously, worth trying on a left-handed track. I wouldn’t be giving up on his chances of joining the top rank among this season’s novice chasers yet – he was such a classy hurdler – and he could be under-rated when he runs next.

27th October 2009