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Glencove Marina

Pandorama was the obvious one to take out of the Lexus Chase on Wednesday, he was really impressive in winning the race and, if the ground happened to come up even as easy as it did for the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup, he would surely be a real player in the race. However, Glencove Marina put in an eye-catching effort in finishing fourth, and his performance may go a little under the radar.

The Eoin Griffin-trained gelding travelled and jumped noticeably well throughout, most notably down the back straight final time, and looked like a real threat as they raced around over the second last at the bottom of the track. His stamina seemed to ebb away on the run to the last, however, and, while he kept on gallantly to finish fourth, the impression remains that this was just a step too far for him in terms of distance. The son of Spectrum has had his problems, but it appears that Griffin is having a clear run with him now, and he remains a classy individual. Always highly-regarded by his previous trainer Willie Mullins, and a Grade 1 winner as a novice hurdler, you always felt that injury prevented him from going as high as he could have gone over fences. He is still just eight, he has raced just eight times to date over fences, so there is still time for him. He probably needs to drop back down to two miles six furlongs or two and a half miles on this soft winter ground, but it may be that he will get three miles later in the season when the ground improves, or even this season in a slowly-run race, like the Hennessy was last year. The Ryanair Chase looks like the race for him at the Cheltenham Festival. He could be an interesting outsider in that.

28th December 2010

© The Irish Field, 1st January 2011