Harry Fry is looking forward to a tilt at the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle with Jollyallan following his admirable effort in defeat at Sandown on Saturday.
The six-year-old carried the colours of leading owner JP McManus to a hat-trick of novice hurdle victories earlier in the campaign and only came up narrowly short against seasoned handicapper Garde La Victoire in the Contenders Hurdle.
Fry believes that effort will stand his charge in good stead ahead of his next assignment in the Cheltenham Festival curtain-raiser.
"Jollyallan ran a good race but was beaten by a good standard bearer in Garde La Victoire," Fry said in his Stan James blog.
"We just got out-battled after the last, but it was what we wanted to achieve in terms of getting more experience in him and coming up against a good campaigner like Garde La Victoire.
"Getting into a bit of a battle, whether it was lost or not, will hopefully make more of a man of him with bigger targets in mind.
"He lost a couple of lengths at the second last, but quickly came back on to almost lead at the last. In the ground, he just couldn't pick up as much as he normally would.
"All being well we're looking forward to running him on decent ground, hopefully at Cheltenham in the Supreme."