The nine-year-old grey had to settle for second place behind his Nicky Henderson-trained stablemate Bobs Worth in the Betfred Hurdle on his first start since he won the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March 2013.
“They’ve both come back fine. I would have thought that the Tingle Creek is the race for Simonsig,” said Henderson.
“He (Simonsig) raced very keen and he looks to me to be a two-mile horse. He was too fresh and had no cover. I am not sure how much you can read into the race but they’ve both been able to get out and have a nice day.
“It’s nice for everybody to see them back, and that was the important part.”
Jockey Barry Geraghty is also keen to pitch Simonsig against “the big boys” sooner rather than later after showing the right signs on his comeback run.
“He showed plenty of spark. He felt good and there’s plenty of life in him,” Geraghty told At The Races.
“You’ll have to fire him into a big race. It was lucky to have that hurdle race for both horses as a prep.
“The Tingle Creek, the King George – he has plenty of options as regards races for the whole season, but he has to get in with the big boys pretty soon.”
Simonsig was given a first show of 4-1 with Paddy Power for the Tingle Creek and a quote of 10-1 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Henderson felt the rain-softened ground and the way the race panned out was to blame for Simonsig failing to make a winning comeback.
“He was tired in that ground. What I wanted was a big field to drop him out the back and put him to sleep,” he said.
“He was far too fresh to go chasing. Unfortunately the race fell apart and all he had was Bobs Worth to give him a lead.”
However, the Seven Barrows trainer was delighted with Bobs Worth, who will head to the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on November 28 – a race he won in 2012.
“Bob’s Worth never knows when to give up and it was great to see him do that in soft ground for the first time,” he said.
“Since he won the Lexus Chase 18 months ago nothing has gone right and we’ve done a lot of soul-searching if we should go on or retire him and look back at the good days.”