Donald McCain was reluctant to nominate firm targets for Peddlers Cross after his stable star made a reasonably satisfying comeback in a jumpers' bumper at Kempton.
Entitled to be rusty as he had not competed since his disappointing effort in the Jewson Novices' Chase at the last Cheltenham Festival, the previous year's Champion Hurdle runner-up looked in rude health as the field swung into the home straight of a BetVictor-sponsored two-miler designed for chasers.
Jason Maguire was forced to switch the 5-4 favourite at a vital moment and Peddlers Cross was unable to resist a challenge on the outside from Sam Winner (7-1) and ended up finishing two lengths adrift in second.
"Don't ask me where he goes next," said McCain, who has entered the eight-year-old in both the Champion and Ladbrokes World Hurdle later on.
"Jason was happy with everything. He was going to pick up and he has taken a blow and flattened out a bit, which is fine. He missed a couple of pieces of work this week. He's relaxing better but still showing plenty of boot.
"What we need to do is find out where it's possible to go racing. I'll have a long talk with the owner, but I want to try him over further and we'll go wherever we have to (to run)."
Sam Winner, who was fourth in the 2011 Triumph, had a disastrous spell novice chasing last term and Dan Skelton, assistant to trainer Paul Nicholls, said: "He had an operation on his knee and needed plenty of recuperation time. He'll go straight to Cheltenham now for the Pertemps."
Fair Trade (5-1) remembered his Flat speed of old as he sprinted an impressive two and a half lengths away from Pearl Swan in a jumpers' bumper for hurdlers.
Trainer Alan King said: "He was good enough to run in a 2000 Guineas years ago. His two hurdle runs have been on very testing ground and it was the ideal opportunity to get a gallop. He'll have an entry at Cheltenham (Supreme) and I'd like to see him on better ground. He'll need another run over hurdles first."
The 5-4 favourite Pearl Swan had been absent for 315 days and Charlie Liverton, representing owner Robin Geffen, said: "He was always vulnerable for being tapped for toe over two miles on the Flat, but it's good to see him back and hopefully it's all systems go for the Betfair Hurdle."
28 May 2015Sleepy time in Tercentenary
Unlucky break for Heskin
No Oaks bid for Pamona
Ton-up celebration for Master
Newton bounces back at Gowran
Dettori set for Chrome Ascot gallop
Stellar entry for Irish Champion
Simenon back on Gold Cup trail
Tryster takes acid test
Mile stars headline Sussex entry
Naas beckons for Toscanini
Medicean poised for weekend run
27 May 2015Colliver hurt in Cartmel fall
Karpino to stay at home
Pankhurst to miss Royal Ascot
Treve stars in Corrida field
Epsom forecast as Thunder aim
Tac team happy to bide time
Raydara in season during Guineas
Life's a Beach for Levins
Ervedya given Royal approval
Haggas on War footing for Ascot
Oaks trip to suit Legatissimo
Coronation up Dolniya's street
Ribbons may cut a dash to Curragh
Gosden duo at ease for Brigadier
Derby duo gives Gosden glee
Found remains in Derby hat
Park satisfies in Epsom spin
26 May 2015Double sets welcome mark for Gask
Rain would boost Sand Ascot dream
Karaktar on track for French Derby
Punters' Pal Set For Musselburgh
Simenon bids for Henry II rule
Angel of the north has Royal aim
Treve delights Head-Maarek
Epicuris heads to Epsom
Fire lit up for Redcar gold run
Park set for Epsom 'sighter'
Karpino oozes class in Cologne
Limato set for Haydock weekend run
Moviesta pleases in Curragh spin
Leisure date for Lucky
Prince to step up
Cirrus likely to bypass Epsom
Ascot option for Devonshire
25 May 2015Limato set for Haydock weekend run
French ace Chop in line for Ascot
Pretty target for Tamadhor
Prolific Robin in foal
Ramone delights Farrell
Moore set for Shamal ride
O'Brien still has Derby puzzle
Air Force has lift-off on debut
Guineas glory for Pleascach
More Curragh Gold for Kazeem
Curvy holds off Canaletto
Super Solow takes Longchamp prize
Varian pleased by Belardo effort
Dirty scope blamed for Byron run
Ascot test for Time