Pandorama silences the doubters

NOEL Meade was delighted to see Pandorama silence the doubters by running out an impressive winner of the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse yesterday.

The Grade One-winning hurdler was made to pull out all of the stops when scoring by a head on his fencing debut at Punchestown, where he jumped left for much of the race.

As a result, he was as big as 5-1 yesterday morning before being heavily backed into 9-4 favouritism.

Pandorama travelled ominously well throughout the two-and-a-half-mile contest and went in pursuit of Alpha Ridge at the top of the straight.

Davy Condon’s mount soon struck the front and although Pandorama again jumped slightly out to his left at the last couple of obstacles, he passed the post seven lengths ahead.

Pandorama’s stablemate, Jered, did not jump as fluently as the winner but plugged on late in the day to finish third.

The winner was cut to 12-1 from 16s by William Hill for the RSA Chase, while Victor Chandler cut him to the same price from 20-1.

The runner-up, Alpha Ridge, was introduced into the betting by totesport at 20-1.

Meade said: “He jumped left the last day and everyone got caught up on that, but the fences at Punchestown are the width of the parade ring.

“He was up there in front and he went left at the first one and suddenly he was going down to every fence and getting worse and worse and worse.

“He got a lead this time and he was totally different. The engine is there.

“You’d have to think he might be better going left-handed but I’m sure he’ll be better over three miles.

“Hopefully Leopardstown over Christmas will be next (Knight Frank Novice Chase) if we are happy with him, and then possibly the Moriarty in February.

“He goes on goodish ground but I wouldn’t like to run him on quick ground.

“Jered would like a little bit better ground. He is not as big as the winner and he missed a few fences too.”

Oscar Dan Dan earned a 20-1 quote for the World Hurdle with William Hill after winning the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle.

Hot favourite Catch Me travelled like the winner for a long way but he found disappointingly little and it was left to 11-2 chance Oscar Dan Dan to narrowly take the spoils by a neck from Ninetieth Minute.

Trainer Tom Mullins is now ready to let his charge step back up to three miles, but quipped: “Big Buck’s will hardly be shaking in his boots!

“We have that under our belts now anyway. He could go for the Long Walk, but that could be a long walk and we might not go there.

“We’ll keep to him around three miles for the rest of the season. He got a great ride and fair play to the horse, he stuck his head well out at the end.

“He’d have to improve a lot more, maybe another 7lb or 8lb to win another big race like that.

“Maybe he could do that.”

Henry de Bromhead’s Sizing America (7-1) answered Andrew Lynch’s every call to land a gamble in the Caffrey’s of Batterstown Handicap Chase, getting the better of the mare Frontier Lady by a neck.

“God he was backed, wasn’t he? He was great under a great ride again. He is riding out of his skin, Andrew,” said De Bromhead.

“He got dropped to 112, which looked a good mark.

“He had a wind operation in the summer. He is a grand horse and I think he’ll get further.

“He deserved to win one.”

John Berry’s Cara Mara sprang a 20-1 surprise in the John Fowler Memorial EBF Mares Chase.

Berry said: “She jumps and she gallops and we knew she’d stay.

“She was bred by my brother, Mick, and that’s her sixth win now.

“She might make into a Thyestes Chase mare for 2011.”

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