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Pan ready to 'rock and roll'

Noel Meade does not believe a lack of fitness will be a major issue when Pandorama makes his eagerly anticipated return in the ladbrokes.com Chase at Down Royal on Saturday.

The seven-year-old has suffered just one defeat from nine starts under National Hunt rules, but injury has kept him out of action since he won a Grade One novice chase at Leopardstown last Christmas.

"He definitely runs and we're looking forward to getting going with him. He's in good form and we're very happy with his work at the moment," said Meade.

"We hope he'll come on for the run a bit, but I think we've got him reasonably straight - he's ready to rock and roll.

"Two and a half (miles) might be slightly short, but he's won a Grade One over two and a half and I think it just depends what we have to beat."

His major early-season target will be the Hennessy Gold Cup at the end of the month, but Meade is keen to get a run into his charge to blow away the cobwebs.

Despite being a three-time Grade One winner, Pandorama looks set to line up at Newbury from out of the handicap due to the possible presence of the 190-rated Kauto Star.

"Our horse has done as much as we want him to do at this stage and after the weekend we'll look to the Hennessy - it looks as though there's going to be a good top-weight in it now," Meade added.

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