Cappa Bleu delighted connections on his seasonal reappearance as last season's John Smith's Grand National fourth starts on the road to another tilt at the Aintree marathon.
The 10-year-old showed his well-being when second to Across The Bay in the Weatherbys Hamilton Graduation Chase over an extended three miles at Carlisle on Monday.
Trainer Evan Williams now wants to give Cappa Bleu a run at Christmas time, but he will not risk him on heavy ground again.
"It was nice to get started. I was very happy with him and it was just an ideal first run back after running at Aintree," said Williams. "He's fine, he's sound and he's happy.
"I've certainly got no worries at all. It was exactly what I wanted to do and it blew the cobwebs away.
"He will be entered for the Welsh National, but I won't run him on that ground again. It was proper heavy ground, but I had to start him somewhere.
"The horse doesn't want that ground and I don't want to be taking the stomach out of him on that kind of ground at Chepstow. You never know, we might have a mild spell and it might be all right.
"I wanted to get a run into him around this time and I'd like to run him somewhere over the Christmas period and then he'll need a run before Aintree somewhere.
"We have a few things in mind, but it all depends on the weather. The plan is just to build him up quietly. It's great to get that first run under his belt and the horse come home in one piece."
23 November 2014Belle set for hurdling campaign
Deputy in Kempton firing line
McBratney banks on Boy progress
Silvi scraps to Betfair glory
Bally sparkles on Mullins' big day
Kelly's a Fixed Brush hero
Faugheen turns on the style
Fenton banned for three years
Amlin double for fab Ferof
New One excels in Haydock romp
Flyer grounds Ascot rivals
Vasco a cut above opposition
22 November 2014Conti strikes Betfair Chase gold
Taken seeking Listed gold
Mogol facing Monksfield test
Vautour makes chasing bow
Gordon enjoys Dundalk spin
McCoy: Landmark swayed judgment
Jacob warms up with brace
Hill peaking for Troytown return
Billy back on winning track
Walsh back for Ferof ride
New ready for Haydock Rush
Cheltenham is Big aim
Mullins eager for Faugheen run
Cue primed for Betfair defence
21 November 2014Geraghty snapped up for Seuil
Volnay aiming for quick repeat
Argocat camp play it cool
Leading Light retired
Frankel filly breaks Irish record
Linton loses Listed place
Doubles for Pipe and Scudamore
Nasty spill for Insole
McCoy targets midweek return
Farm comes Home to roost at Thurles
Flemenstar future dictated by scan
Cue lined up for Haydock return
20 November 2014McNamara joy at turning pro
Volnay seeking Mersey paradise
Sloane Avenue books Dubai date
Spencer reveals Qatar riding snub
Doyle ready for Godolphin challenge
Good news at Huntingdon
BHA hear Linton case
Avenue shows winning way
Grugy diagnosed with hip issue
Meade plots Monksland comeback
Ptit secures swift double
Shanes shines in hurdles win
Mullins' stars set for weekend runs
Haydock aim for Aurore
Medermit in Betfair contention