Shutthefrontdoor staked a big claim to be in owner JP McManus' Cheltenham Festival team with a gutsy victory in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle at Carlisle.
The six-year-old, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, gave Tony McCoy his first winner when back in the McManus colours after riding the ill-fated Darlan at Doncaster on Monday.
The 17-times champion had to be at his strongest to get Shutthefrontdoor (9-2) to outpoint Ardkilly Witness by half a length and complete a hat-trick. The pair drew nine lengths clear of the remainder.
Shutthefrontdoor, who has had just the four runs over jumps, has several Cheltenham options, including the Pertemps Final, the Coral Cup and the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.
Eduard (1-8 favourite), another Cheltenham possible, had little more than an exercise canter as he trotted up in the Exhibitions At Carlisle Racecourse Novices' Hurdle.
A creditable third to Melodic Rendezvous at Cheltenham in December, the Nicky Richards-trained five-year-old had no trouble registering his second win over hurdles.
Once Davy Russell took him to the front after the third-last, Eduard put plenty of daylight between himself and his rivals to coast home by 29 lengths to give Ireland's champion jockey a facile success on his only ride of the day.
Eduard was given quotes of 40-1 for both the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, and Russell told Racing UK: "He's a lovely horse and I'd say his future is over fences.
"He's a big, honest horse and relaxed from flag-fall - he was very professional the way he went about his job. There will be worse horses than him running at Cheltenham. I'd say he'd go for the staying novice as the Supreme might be too sharp for him. That would be up to Nicky, but he definitely wouldn't disgrace himself."
Kealigolane (11-2) made all in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Novices' Chase under James Reveley and shrugged off Vulcanite to score by three and three-quarter lengths, and Reveley completed a 109-1 double on Markadam (16-1) in the Durdar Novices' Handicap Chase.
25 August 2016Jack Hobbs pleasing John Gosden as he nears return to action
Adam McNamara keeps up Ebor momentum with Leicester win
Sylvester Kirk aiming high with Solario runner-up Salouen
Disqualification of Any Currency makes Martin Keighley determined for success
'All systems go' for Litigant and Ascot return
Massaat display still a 'head-scratcher' for Owen Burrows
Thikriyaat heads Celebration quintet
Awtaad aiming to bounce back in Boomerang outing
Newmarket uphill gallops plan announced by Jockey Club Estates
Alexios Komnenos on course for Churchill rematch in National Stakes
Almanzor on Irish Champion trail
Harry Dunlop issues Robin Of Navan St Leger advisory
John Gosden calls time on To Eternity season
Martin Keighley to learn fate over Any Currency substance test
Clive Cox reflects upon Tis Marvellous reverse in Prix Morny
Creggs Pipes takes Fairy Bridge test at Tipperary
Ryan Moore to return with Newmarket mount on Friday
Jet Setting skips Tipperary date with sights set on Matron outing
Qemah on course for Matron date
Bocca Baciata team planning thorough checks after Deauville disappointment
24 August 2016Conqueress rules at Lingfield for Tom Dascombe and Deva Racing
Amy Murphy set to join training ranks
Aidan O'Brien confirms ante-post favourite Idaho for St Leger at Doncaster
Ben Pauling mapping out novice chase campaign with Barters Hill
Michael Dods expecting Easton Angel to blossom in 2017
Racing mourns death of 'voice of the north' Tom O'Ryan
Jim Crowley keeps up title-chase momentum
Long-term Grand National thoughts for Neil Mulholland
Jonathan Portman holds fire with Mrs Danvers
Ulysses set for Winter Hill test at Windsor
Classic heroine La Cressonniere enhances Arc claims at Deauville
Wings Of Desire remains in the St Leger reckoning
Dancing Star connections consider Haydock riding options
Postponed team eyeing Breeders' Cup bid after Arc run
Roger Varian plotting QEII route with Belardo
23 August 2016Hit The Bid set to wait for Newbury
Skiffle heads Snow Fairy contenders at the Curragh
Adam Brickell to leave British Horseracing Authority
Champagne date possible for York victor Rivet
Mutakayyef team considering supplementing for Irish Champion
32Red unveiled as new sponsor of Sprint Cup at Haydock
Garrowby on Nameitwhatyoulike's radar ahead of Ayr Gold Cup date
Two footballers banned from British racecourses following Cheltenham incident
Ryan Moore back in gallops action but no date set for track return
Irish ace Maarek in line for Bullet defence at Beverley
Ken Condon hoping for 'more to come' from Success Days
Shantou Village primed for fencing debut at Fontwell
Mehmas on course for glittering two-year-old showdown at Newmarket
South Seas likely to chart course to Dewhurst
Prix de l'Abbaye the main goal for Michael Dods and York heroine Mecca's Angel
Curragh or Doncaster on the table for Clever Cookie after 'flat' York run
Kieren Fallon 'doing great' and riding out in Newmarket
22 August 2016George Baker celebrates Brighton double
Foundation set for Windsor Hill assignment
Blow for greyhound racing as Sadiq Khan backs AFC Wimbledon's move
Star filly La Cressonniere on Deauville duty in Prix de la Nonette
Progressive Thikriyaat added to Celebration Mile field
Nigel Tinkler to chart Doncaster route with speedy Thesme
Ed Walker to cross the Channel once again with Stormy Antarctic
Mick Halford takes up Korean challenge with Wild Dude
Charlie Appleby sets Skiffle Curragh test
Brighton winner means a full house for Paul Hanagan
Hughie Morrison's Nearly Caught not for catching in Prix Kergorlay
Rhododendron continues Debutante domination for Aidan O'Brien
Landfall flies home as Aidan O'Brien's Frankel colt is beaten
Speedy Boarding too quick in Prix Jean Romanet
'Guineas-type' Churchill in command at the Curragh
Success Days upstages big guns in Royal Whip surprise
Lady Aurelia and Frankie Dettori make all in Prix Morny
Blandford option for Queen's Trust following York effort