Pandorama new great green hope

Between the worldly temptations of the Scoop6, on the one hand, and another Kauto Star trauma for idealists, on the other, the sport was rather too distracted over the weekend to register the emergence of a genuine new sensation in Ireland.

But there already seems little doubt that Pandorama, if he is not careful, will find himself bearing the Irish standard at Cheltenham in March. His trainer, Noel Meade, has had some atrocious luck at the Festival over the years, but perhaps he is finally going to have the last laugh. Winner of two bumpers by an aggregate of 36 lengths, Pandorama had cruised home in a maiden hurdle at Navan earlier in the month, and on Sunday returned to the same track to produce one of the most extraordinary exhibitions anyone present could remember by a young jumper. It was not just the manner of his success, which was again outrageous; it was the fact that, this time, he was up again some extremely competent rivals. Alpha Ridge, for instance, had won his last three starts, his latest one by 25 lengths. But while he finished a distance clear of the third, Alpha Ridge could not live with Pandorama, who eased past him three out and drew 26 lengths clear at his leisure.

In fact, the only concern at this stage might be that Pandorama is doing everything too easily, and learning little for the championship tests that beckon in the new year. "But he ran in a couple of points last year, and his jumping seems pretty good really," Meade said yesterday. "He did make one mistake, when he launched himself at the third last, but otherwise he was very good. He's a very big horse, and basically he's going to be a chaser in time. In fact, we were contemplating going straight over fences with him, after his bumpers, just as Willie Mullins did with Florida Pearl. But we decided to give him one go over hurdles, to see how he got on, and he was so good that we had to keep going."

After Sunday's race Meade had been candidly awed. "Wow, that would keep you dreaming!" he exclaimed. But he did warn that the horse might not be so effective on fast ground, which presumably might become an issue at some of the spring carnivals.

For now Pandorama is as short as 4-1 favourite with Blue Square for the Ballymore Properties Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, though Coral still offer 7-1. "Obviously I'm hoping the ground will be all right in March," Meade said. "He did win on goodish ground at Fairyhouse, and though I'm sure he's better on soft, that's basically on the principle that he stays very well."

His next date is back at Navan on 14 December – for a race Meade won, two years ago, with another great green hope in Aran Concerto. Sadly that horse disappeared with leg trouble at the end of the same season, and only reappeared at Navan, in a novice chase, on the day Pandorama won his maiden hurdle.

Jumping safely, Aran Concerto won comfortably but passed a bigger test the next morning when Meade was relieved to find his legs cool. A top-class performance is likely to be necessary at Fairyhouse on Sunday, however, with Forpadydeplasterer, Tranquil Sea and Breedsbreeze among those converging on the Bar-One Drinmore Chase. "Aran Concerto did get a bit tired at Navan, but he jumped well," Meade said. "He'll work in the morning and if I'm happy with him he'll run on Sunday." Meade also had tidings of another frustrated talent in Nicanor, still the only horse ever to have beaten Denman. "We did have him nearly ready to run, but then he banged a shin," he explained. "So we've had to wait with him, again. He's swimming at the moment but I hope he'll be back cantering in a fortnight, so hopefully he'll be out after Christmas."

Denman's is, of course, the latest name engraved on the roll of honour for the Hennessy Gold Cup, at Newbury on Saturday. His trainer, Paul Nicholls, left four in the race yesterday, identifying the ante-post favourite, Big Buck's, and the Munster National winner, Dear Villez, as the pick.

News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker