Horses To Follow » Pandorama


Although he may be a soft ground horse, and so he had his conditions, Pandorama was still a very impressive winner of the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown. He was always travelling and jumping well on the inside of the field for Paul Carberry. He improved to track The Listener with some good jumps down the back straight, and he ended up in second as they made their way to the third last fence. He was a bit awkward at that fence, he just got in a bit too tight, but the reaction of Paul Carberry who sat still still looked confident on the son of Flemensfirth was telling, despite four of five horses closing up to him before the straight. He jumped the last two fences really well, and he really picked up well after the last, putting six lengths between himself and the staying-on Money Trix.

Although he may need easy ground to be seen at his best, this was still a performance to respect regarding the Gold Cup pecking order. This was only Pandorama’s fifth ever start over fences, and it was only this time last year that he just pipped subsequent RSA Chase winner Weapon’s Amnesty in the Grade One Knight Frank Novice Chase. He has just turned eight, and there should be a lot more to come from him over three miles jumping fences.

In hindsight now given this performance, it is difficult to conceive that he would not have gone close in the Hennessy at Newbury in November had things gone right for him early on, where he was pulled up after blundering at the second fence and getting badly hampered by a fallen horse at the fourth. He is unquestionably a Gold Cup prospect now. We are used to fast ground Festivals these days, but they do water the track well so as to produce good to soft ground on the first day. If it rains between then and Gold Cup day, then there is every chance that you can have a soft ground Gold Cup. The official ground description for last year’s Gold Cup was good, but it rained during the day and it was changed to soft by the end of the day. Actually, it was anything but good when the Gold Cup was being run. Race times suggest that it was almost soft, and similar conditions this season would give Pandorama a real chance of winning the race.

28th December 2010