Fair Trade may not have won over hurdles yet, but trainer Alan King is still aiming for the very top by pitching him into the William Hill Dovecote Novices' Hurdle at Kempton.
Two defeats so far does not quite tell the story of Raymond Tooth's chestnut, who made such a bright start for David Elsworth that he even contested Makfi's 2000 Guineas on the third run of his life.
Tenth was what he managed, and Fair Trade failed to get his head in front again for either Elsworth or Hughie Morrison and was switched to King for a spell jumping.
He looked inexperienced in both outings, behind Close Touch at Ascot and another good Flat horse, Poet, at Newbury, but proved the sparkle was very much evident when tried in a Kempton jumpers' bumper as he quickened right away from Pearl Swan.
King won the Dovecote last year with Grumeti, who went on to be third in the Triumph and won at Aintree.
As he is now six, Fair Trade must instead try to emulate Flown, the last winner of this race and the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in 1992.
"I am not prepared to risk losing his novice tag for a mere £3,000 at this time of the year, and this has been his target for some time," the Barbury Castle handler told his website, www.alankingracing.co.uk.
"He is in great form and his recent win in a jumpers' bumper has done his confidence the power of good and, though this looks a hot heat, it is a dress-rehearsal for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Festival, so we should find out where we stand."
Lac Fontana was fourth in a Listed race on the level for Nicolas Clement and first appeared for new trainer Paul Nicholls on Newbury's trials day, making good late headway to take second behind Nicky Henderson's classy prospect Chatterbox.
Nicholls said: "I wouldn't mind if he didn't win, if you know what I mean, as we'd have another novice like (last year's runner-up) Dodging Bullets for next season. If he won, he'll go to the Triumph. He came into the season a little bit late and lacks a bit of experience, but he he ran really well the other day."
20 October 2014No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Chelmsford City handed 58 fixtures
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission
Park favourite for Trophy hunt
Al Kazeem team eye Hong Kong trip
Alderwood to take two-mile test
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Commemorative bound for Breeders'
Hennessy aim for Clouds
Slade eyeing victorious swansong
Fiesolana on Breeders' trail
High-class possibilities for Trophy
Chelmsford City handed 57 fixtures
French option for Maarek
Billy back for chasing bow
Judge to bid for Breeders' glory
Pipe mulls Moon target
High hopes for Holywell
Judge in Breeders' frame
Hill stars for Stoute and Moore
Gabriel lifts Garnet for Deegan
New One back with a win
Light career hangs in balance
Stars shines on hurdling debut
King big guns ready to start
Tullius camp consider options
Doyle unlikely to appeal Ascot ban
Mullins prepares formidable team
19 October 2014New One breezes to victory
Lavelle has Becher plan for Lodge
Riches heading on road north
Down Royal plan for Tiger
New makes Kempton return
Panther hunting Canadian prize
Sun takes a shine to Cork
Hobbs upholds Showcase record
Another gold strike for Bronze
Gallant Noble a true Champion
Head turns on Charm in QEII
Madame is Ascot leading lady
Forgotten rules for Weld
Byron is poetry in motion
18 October 2014Forgotten rules for Weld
War misses Breeders' date
Rakti reaps Caulfield reward
Chatez bids for Balmoral crown
Lavelle duo top Cheltenham card
Integral takes on the boys
Noble on Champion mission
Belardo a Dewhurst sparkler
Together stands firm for Ballydoyle
Ivawood felled by plucky Thought
Crowley doubles up on Berkshire
Tendon injury sidelines Tent
17 October 2014Minstrel calls the tune
Sceaux set for chase campaign
Sari seeking Ascot gold
Charm out to show winning Spirit
Estimate aiming to go the Distance
French veteran back for more
O'Meara - G has the Force
Fallon considers American switch
Cossack maintains Elliott's record
Vautour goes chasing
Lucida heads Godolphin trio
McCoy sits out weekend action
No Middle ground for classy Ivawood
Big guns hold sway for QEII
Cirrus stands firm for Champion
Hanagan: Estidhkaar no soft touch