Pan proves too hot for Lexus rivals
Pandorama announced his arrival in the jumping elite with an impressive victory in the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.
Trained by Noel Meade and ridden by Paul Carberry, the seven-year-old landed his first win at the highest level in open company as he saw off Money Trix by six lengths.
Twice a Grade One winner as a novice last term, Pandorama was sent off the 7-2 joint favourite along with Cooldine for the three-mile contest.
The Listener took up his usual front-running role as Carberry was happy to sit in the chasing pack until beginning to work his way into a position three fences from home.
Glencove Marina, who had raced prominently, was the first to make his move when challenging at the penultimate fence but Pandorama was still travelling smoothly.
Coming down to the last, Carberry's mount looked all over the winner and despite pecking slightly on landing, he accelerated away on the run-in.
Last year's runner-up Money Trix tried to go in pursuit but he was no match for the winner and had to settle for second again with Joncol plugging on for third - the same position as he filled in 2009.
Pandorama is now as low as 10-1 with Coral for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Meade was pleased to see his runner bounce back to his best after being pulled up in the Hennessy at Newbury last time.
He said: "We are back on track and will aim for the (Irish) Hennessy back here if he stays right. We are still dreaming of the Gold Cup. He worked very well at Dundalk last Thursday and had some good horses behind him.
"We'll enjoy today. We know he goes left handed and that was only his fifth run over fences so he is still improving. I wouldn't run him on good ground. It has to be yielding or softer."