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.
2 March 2015McCoy shines on Sivola
Weekend plan for Lincoln hope Boy
Arzal seeking change of luck
Bentelimar booked for Supreme rule
Watering possible at Cheltenham
Wincanton Thursday abandoned
Aintree beckons for Milan
Dundalk unlikely for Byron
Cops on patrol for Pertemps
Sizing team to make late call
Stars on show at Cheltenham
Codd angling for Festival glory
Duke set Carlisle agenda
Prospects bleak at Wincanton
Moon camp wary of Irish threat
Hobbs unveils Cheltenham hopes
Magic McCoy on target with Fredo
Azorian back in winning groove
Berlais lands Auteuil prize
Fred Winter favoured for Berbas
High hopes for Meade Festival team
Cooper seeks Cheltenham riches
Lemaire in hot water in Japan
Reckless camp consider Arkle bid
1 March 2015Cecil runner second at Huntingdon
High hopes for Meade Festival team
Super set for National Duty
Longsdon retains Joe faith
Nolan hoping Noble makes cut
Camping in line for Cup bid
Bin Suroor tribute for Cavalryman
Vautour excites Mullins in workout
Elliott posse work at Leopardstown
Geraghty confirmed for Master
Wayward back on right track
Investment gains Greatwood gold
Bal win delights connections
Glinger burns off Kelso rivals
Pipe proves he's a Soll man
Geraghty shines on Leave It
28 February 2015Festival plans fluid for Cyclone
Walter back for another victory
Irish pair do battle in France
Geraghty: Sprinter will be fitter
Wylie lines up Cheltenham team
Twiston-Davies Blak in business
Divine Bishop on Festival trail
Irish duo set Doncaster poser
Night riding high for Grimthorpe
Glingerburn facing another battle
Pipe targets Aintree with veterans
Carlito primed for Kelso return
McCoy not planning Festival goodbye
Bridge camp praying for rain
Cook suspended from riding
27 February 2015Golantilla in Ballsbridge bid
Safety strikes in Zabeel Mile
Fehily confirms Zarkandar mount
Lieutenant bosses Purcell rivals
Dettori delights on Dubday
Many Clouds goes back to school
Maguire loses appeal
New One at ease for Faugheen clash
Foxrock still in Gold Cup picture
Apache ready to take flight in JLT