Paul Nicholls believes there is more still to come from Lalor after his excellent debut for the Ditcheat yard on Saturday.
Formerly with Kayley Woollacott, for whom he won a Grade One novice hurdle and a Grade Two novice chase, the nine-year-old was beaten only by Midnight Shadow and Protektorat in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
A return to Cheltenham is on the cards next month, for a horse who was much more like his true self and banished memories of two pulled-up efforts in the spring.
The champion trainer was delighted, as he was with Simply The Betts (sixth), another stable debutant.
He said: “I was thrilled with the pair of them. I was so pleased with Lalor, I’m still learning about him but he’ll come back for the Caspian Caviar in December.
“I think the stiffer track will suit him even better than the course on Saturday. Finishing off a race like that should give him loads of confidence.
“The other lad will improve for the run as well, so I was thrilled with both.”
Nicholls has also taken positives from the defeat of Magistrato, who was fourth in the Triumph Hurdle Trial having made a striking debut last month at Chepstow.
He said: “The juvenile ran well, too, but he just found the ground a bit quick. He’s a proper National Hunt horse who wants soft ground.
“It’ll rain soon, then we can get stuck in – but there’s none forecast!”