Minella Indo means business and fuelled belief he can challenge Al Boum Photo at Leopardstown and then Cheltenham with a fine jumping display at Navan.
The seven-year-old was pushed along by Rachael Blackmore between the final two fences, taking a seven-length victory in the Grade 2 BetVictor Make Your Best Bet Chase.
Al Boum Photo is expected to go for a three-peat in the Savills Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup and Minella Indo could match him stride for stride on this evidence.
"I'm delighted with that. He did everything good, it was a lovely race for him and I'm glad we've got it behind us now,” said trainer Henry De Bromhead.
"You couldn't have asked him to do it any better. He jumped really well and did everything he had to do.
"I would imagine we'll aim towards the Savills Chase at Christmas, I think that will be our next one.
"He's had two nice races for second-season novices and now we have to go against the big lads and see how we fare there."
Minella Indo is now two from two for the campaign having romped to victory in the Grade 3 M.W Hickey Memorial Chase at Wexford last month.
The Barry Maloney-owned horse finished second in last year’s RSA Chase at Cheltenham behind Nicky Henderson’s Champ.
Coral are now offering Minella Indo at 7-1 for the Gold Cup, with Al Boum Photo 6-1.