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."
25 October 2014Snoano stepping up for Trophy bid
Adelaide rules in Cox Plate
Sir Max clinches Mercury gold
Full marks for Bangor schooling
Milky Way on another planet
O'Brien targets another Trophy
Hurricane in hat for Morgiana
Buick happy as a Star is born
King ace back in the Old routine
McCoy makes Chepstow return
Botti seeking Astrelle celebration
24 October 2014Ballyalton out for the season
Hutchinson sits out weekend action
Balding sweet on Park chance
Walker hoping for Glorious victory
Times out to make Newbury headlines
Cheltenham honour leading figures
Moore keen on Adelaide chance
Stevens back for Breeders'
Johnson Houghton fined
Duke lords it at Carlisle
Southwell first for O'Brien
Fenton fined over steroids
Buywise on the money at Ludlow
Lockinge the big plan for Toormore
Stone ruled out of Old Roan
Wetherby likely for First run
Elm tops Trophy octet
23 October 2014Fenton guilty of drugs possession
Williams hoping for Max power
Harty biding his time with Lane
Clonmel aim for Baily
Jezki possible for Morgiana bow
Harrington expects Naylor to shine
Gosden a Fan of Newmarket scorer
Northern aces face off in Cumbria
Murphy plagued by shoulder injury
Dynaste charts direct Haydock route
O'Brien outlines Breeders' plans
Wetherby-bound Taquin to duck Power
High hopes for Adelaide run
Gilgamboa waits on ground
Dandino misses Cup date
22 October 2014December date for Balding memorial
Deputy outgunned at Fontwell
Whisky chasing Power spoils
Burke maps out Odeliz targets
Present sights set on Power prize
New category for all-weather champs
Moviesta has sales date
National aim for O'Neill star
Cheltenham on Ginge agenda
Lewis eyeing Dubai success
Henderson handed Ascot role
Panther given Breeders' go-ahead
Plain sailing for perfect Storm
Big Easy sets sail for Open fixture
Hall monitored for Giant Bolster
Stomachion in November frame
Hughes revels in 'sweet' success
BHA moves to address small fields
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year