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Pandorama Puts on the Style at Leopardstown

Pandorama confirmed himself one of Ireland’s main cheltenham 2011 hopes and banished the memory of a dismal effort at Newbury last time out with a stylish victory in the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown, writes Elliot Slater.

Cooldine was disappointing


A horse who polarises opinion whenever he sets foot on the racecourse, Noel Meade’s gelding did everything right on Tuesday, jumping well in the main out of the heavy ground, and leading before the final fence to eventually run out a comfortable six-length winner from Money Trix, who was finishing runner-up in the race for the second year in a row. Joncol was three-quarters-of-a-length further back in third.

The return to form was clearly not unexpected by many punters who latched on to the 8/1 cheltenham gold cup odds offered on the morning of the race and continued to support the seven-year-old down to odds of 7/2 joint-favourite at the ‘off’, with the ultimately disappointing Cooldine, who was eventually pulled up before the final fence when well beaten.

Pandorama himself had been pulled up last time out at Newbury have jumped appallingly throughout, and his handler puts that effort down to the Flemensfirth gelding have been asked to race on quick ground. Meade made it clear that if Pandorama does go to Cheltenham in mid-March it will only be to race on ground no better than yielding. There is no doubt that the Irish horse, a winner of nine of his eleven races, (four at Grade 1 level), is a very serious performer when the mud is flying, although it has to be said that he does look slow when racing on a sound surface.

Bookmakers reacted to Pandorama’s Lexus win by cutting him from 33/1 to a best-priced 16/1, although were clearly the most impressed slashing his odds to just 10/1 to beat Imperial Commander, Kauto Star and Denman in the blue riband championship race.

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