Teaforthree may have been touched off by Restless Harry (4-1) in the Weatherby's Hamilton Insurance Chase but afterwards all the talk was about Aintree for last season's Welsh National runner-up.
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The Curtis-trained 10-year-old was beaten a neck in the three-mile Listed event after a titanic duel over the final three fences, but Noel Fehily's mount was immediately slashed in price for the Crabbie's Grand National, a race in which he finished third last season.
Curtis said: "I am very pleased with that. He has a lovely weight for the Grand National (10st 12lb) because there are a lot of high-class horses above him in the handicap.
"He's had one or two physical problems and he needed the race in at Chepstow (Welsh National).
"While we will have to see how he comes out of the race, we've probably got him as good as he's ever been at the moment."
Jockey Charlie Poste is now looking forward to the Cheltenham Festival with the Robin Dickin-trained Restless Harry.
Poste said: "He shouldn't go up too much in the handicap for that, so a three-mile handicap chase at Cheltenham would be an option."
Sky Bet were impressed with the performance of the runner-up and cut him to clear 10/1 favourite (from 16s) for the Aintree spectacle.
Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "Teaforthree is already the biggest loser in our book the for Grand National and this was a performance which emphasised his fine chance."