Tag Archive for: Regal Encore

Regal eyes Ascot Encore

Regal Encore is on course for his title defence in the Bateaux London Gold Cup Handicap Chase, as one of 24 entries at Ascot.

The 13-year-old was victorious at 14-1 for trainer Anthony Honeyball last season, and has a remarkable record at Ascot – with four wins over course and distance to his name.

He was last seen pulling up at Punchestown in May, and Saturday’s Grade Three contest is set to be the veteran’s first run of what is likely to be his final season in training.

Ascot specialist Regal Encore
Ascot specialist Regal Encore (Nigel French/PA)

Honeyball has also entered Sojourn, an eight-year-old with form over a staying trip in wins at Market Rasen and Carlisle.

Regal Encore was beaten into second by Vinndication in the 2019 renewal of this race, and Kim Bailey’s eight-year-old is in contention again for his first start of the campaign.

Dan Skelton has a trio of possibles, with Grade One-winner Shan Blue entered alongside former Ascot scorers Bennys King and Captain Chaos.

Shan Blue (left) last season
Shan Blue (left) last season (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls may be represented by Real Steel and 2019 Midlands National winner Truckers Lodge, and Charlie Longsdon is also currently double-handed with Glen Forsa and Snow Leopardess.

Time To Get Up, the 2020 Midlands National winner, holds an entry for Jonjo O’Neill – alongside Lucinda Russell’s Uttoxeter runner-up Mighty Thunder.

Gary Moore can choose from Larry and Full Back as he seeks a third victory in this race.

Colin Tizzard’s Ascot Silver Cup winner Mister Malarky is on course to return to the scene of his last success, and Venetia Williams’ Didero Vallis may make his seasonal bow.

Nicky Henderson's Fusil Raffles
Nicky Henderson’s Fusil Raffles (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Nicky Henderson has put forward the six-year-old Fusil Raffles, who finished second to Bravemansgame at Newton Abbot this month – while Ian Williams has entered One More Fleurie, and Nigel Twiston-Davies may run Checkitout.

Mark Campion’s Dinons is entered for his second run since leaving Gordon Elliott’s yard – with Nick Gifford’s The Mighty Don, Philip Hobbs’ Jerrysback, Tom Lacey’s Johnbb and Suzy Smith’s Pilbara also in the mix for a race with a maximum field of 18.

Anthony Honeyball Stable Tour 2021/22

geegeez.co.uk is delighted to continue its sponsorship of the very talented National Hunt yard of Anthony Honeyball. Operating out of Potwell Farm, set in a beautiful nook on the Dorset / Somerset border, Anthony and Rachael have been gradually improving both the quality and quantity of horses they race; and this term promises much on both scores.

I spoke at length to Anthony yesterday about his team for this season and below are his thoughts and hopes for the campaign ahead.

The comments are presented in a table which may be sorted by any of the column headings, and may be searched from the box to the right just below this sentence.


Acey Milan2014GeldingChaseWon at Aintree on seasonal bow last year and is entered there again on Sunday. Main target is the Rehearsal Chase
Belle De Manech2016MareHdl/ChsHas a good record fresh and goes to the Wincanton mares' handicap hurdle in early November. It's been a good race for the yard and looks ideal for her. She's had a wind op since last season.
Bohemian Lad2018GeldingNHFHe's a hardy type. Will have a racecourse gallop somewhere midwinter and then aim at a bumper in the spring. Be a lovely jumper in time.
Cape Vidal2017GeldingNHFGood size, robust individual who is taking his work well. Should be ready for a bumper in December.
Captain Claude2017GeldingNHFHas progressed well at home, and did a nice racecourse gallop last spring. We just ran out of time to get to the track. Ready to go now and should hopefully take some beating first time up.
Coquelicot2016MareFlat/HdlA very good bumper mare (Listed winner) for geegeez.co.uk, she didn't quite get her jumping together last season. Will start in a 1m6f novice at Nottingham before going hurdling. Has had a wind op since last season.
Credo2015MareHurdleLove her. Unbeaten in three (Irish point, two bumpers) and is from a strong staying family (including Cyclop). Will go mares' maiden/novice hurdling and should win a 2m4f soft ground heat.
Dear Ralphy2016GeldingNHFHalf to The King's Writ, he's progressing nicely. We've not asked him for everything yet and feel he has more to show us. Be ready for a bumper in December.
Deja Vue2014MareChaseVery consistent and classy mare. Could go to Fontwell on 5th November, or Uttoxeter on 13th. Were she to win we'd be looking at something like the Tommy Whittle with her.
Emzara2016MareNHFWas ready to run and then got a little niggle last backend. Ready again now and might go to Aintree Sunday. She ought to be worth the wait and should go well.
Multiplex ex Montelfolene2017FillyNHFComing along steadily. Related to Soll, and should be ready in the spring for a bumper.
Champs Elysees ex Purely By Chance2017FillyNHFRelated to Ucanaver, she was quite backward last term. Has had a good long break and ought to be ready for a bumper in the New Year. Looking forward to her.
Black Sam Bellamy ex Rouquine Sauvage2018GeldingNHFOut of a mare we won three with, he's a big horse who will probably want some wet ground. One for later in the season.
Fanfaron Dino2015GeldingHdl/ChsHe'll go straight over fences this season. Is potentially nicely handicapped but has a bit to prove after a couple of flattish runs last term.
Firestream2017GeldingNHFWe like this lad a lot. He's a very good work horse and showed plenty in a racecourse gallop last backend. We'd be very hopeful he'll go close on debut, may run at Ascot Saturday week.
Fortuna Ligna2017FillyNHFAnother of our bumper squad, she by Soldier of Fortune out of a Bob Back mare, two pedigree parts we love. Had a racecourse gallop last term and will be entered up soon. Goes nicely at home.
Forward Plan2016GeldingNHFAthletic sort who won an Irish point before coming to us. Will be ready in a fortnight or so. Clean winded and has a nice action; looking forward to him in a bumper before switching to hurdles at some point.
Gabriel's Getaway2017GeldingNHFRelated to Burtons Well and Burton Port among others. Showed a fair bit at home and in a racecourse gallop. Can be a bit gawky but loads of ability and we'd like to think he'll go very close 1st time.
Glorious Isolation2016MareHurdleWill head straight over hurdles. She's schooled superbly and, though she might need the experience early, ought to come into her own at some point this season. Will start in 2m maiden hurdles.
Good Look Charm2016MareNHFWon a bumper at the second time of asking last season since when she joined us. Is sister to a Punchestown Land Rover bumper winner. Might start at Aintree on Sunday. Going nicely.
Gustavian2015GeldingChaseHyper consistent (3 wins, 5 seconds and a third from 9 runs) and will graduate to fences this season. Should have a little more still to come. Probably wants soft or heavy to show his best. Has had a wind op.
Hatos2017GeldingNHF/HdlBought him after he was 2nd in an Irish point. He's a very well balanced athletic horse who goes well at home and will have a spin in a bumper before switching to hurdles. Looking forward to him.
Howlingmadmurdock2017GeldingNHFRelated to Time For Rupert and the smart Easy As That among others. Was just about ready in the spring but the ground went against us. Extra time has done him good. Will be out soon.
Jail No Bail2017GeldingNHFA strong galloper who was ready to run in a maiden point before I bought him and put him away for the summer. Going very well and should take some beating in an ordinary bumper.
Jepeck2009GeldingChaseVeterans' Chase Final winner a couple of seasons back, he's probably going hurdling this time around. Seems to retain all his affection for the game. Wants it soft or heavy ideally.
Khalina Star2017FillyNHF/HdlHad a racecourse gallop last season and another we ran out of time with when the ground dried up. Very laid back mare who seems to have more than she shows us! She's ready to go in a bumper for a geegeez.co.uk syndicate.
Kid Commando2014GeldingChaseA good jumper: neat and brave. He might go to Ascot Saturday week for the novices' handicap chase. He was a point winner before coming to us so we expect he'll improve for fences. Has had a wind op since last campaign.
Konigin Isabella2018FillyNHFAnother geegeez.co.uk syndicate filly, she's by an interesting German sire. Is probably our sharpest 3yo and the plan is to head to Warwick on 17th November for a fillies' junior bumper.
Le Coeur Net2012GeldingChaseStable stalwart has won five for us in recent seasons. High enough in the weights perhaps but does handle mud well so every chance he'll add to his tally through the winter.
Lilith2015MareHdl/ChsShe didn't meet our expectations last season and, as a result is potentially very well handicapped now. Will mix hurdling and chasing and should be best on soft or heavy ground.
Marco Island2017GeldingNHFA big strong horse by Mahler, he might find bumpers happening a bit quick (and might not!), but he'll be a lovely horse over a fence in due course.
Midnight Callisto2015MareHurdleDidn't respect her hurdles enough last season as a novice and has a lenient looking mark as a result. She's schooled much better so we're very hopeful she can step forward. May mix fences with hurdling later in the season. Had a wind op.
Miss Hunky Dory2018FillyNHFLovely mover who is from the family of Dubacilla, Desert Queen and Mister Malarky. She'll need a little more time, likely starting in a bumper in the spring. We like her.
Mister Allegro2018GeldingHurdleDidn't pull up any trees in a few runs on the level but jumped brilliantly when winning a juvenile hurdle on debut (2nd won since). He may go to Wincanton this weekend.
Mollie Brown2018FillyNHFFrom the family of Sam Brown. Is doing all we've asked of her so far and one for a back end bumper.
Pour Me Another2017GeldingNHFAnother ready last season but didn't get a run, and for whom the extra time will be no bad thing. Will run in bumpers before too long, probably won't want it too soft.
Precious2016MareNHF/HdlBig mare who won her bumper well before finding it a bit much in Listed company on second start. She'll probably have another crack at a Listed bumper at the Cheltenham Open meeting before going hurdling. She's a lovely mare.
Pure Vision2011GeldingChaseHas run some nice races at Grade A tracks without perhaps hitting the heights we thought he would. Not sure on plans this season, though it's possible he'll go the hunter chase route. Would be an interesting recruit to that sphere.
Regal Encore2008GeldingChaseThe stable flag-bearer for a decade he was just touched off in a handicap, aged 13, from a mark of 150 last season! He'll start Saturday week in the valuable Ascot handicap he won last year.
Rubys Reward2016MareHurdleHas ability and goes hurdling this season. Could win a maiden but may be one for handicaps when she's accumulated some experience.
Sam Brown2012GeldingChaseAnother yard favourite, he demolished a Grade 2 novice chase field last season before losing his way a little. Back in form now and may run in a Haydock graduation chase before a crack at the Welsh National.
Serious Charges2017GeldingNHF/Hdl2nd in an Irish point (winner sold for £175k), 20L clear of remainder. Is the proverbial chaser in the making, though will have one crack at a bumper before going hurdling this season. 2m4f maidens his starting point.
Sojourn2013GeldingChaseConsistent, having won three of nine (placed four more times) so far. Likely heads to Ascot Saturday week and if he goes well we might look at something like the Becher Chase for him.
Starship Mona2018FillyNHFOut of the good bumper mare Lifeboat Mona, this filly will start off down that route in the spring, or possibly next autumn.
Sully d'Oc Aa2014GeldingChaseGave us a brilliant day at Punchestown in May, winning a valuable prize there. Will probably start in either the Haldon Gold Cup (Exeter) or join our Ascot squad a week Saturday. He wouldn't want it too soft.
Swincombe Fleat2016MareHurdleA nice mare, she's well related and ran a blinder to be 4th in a very competitive Listed bumper in the spring. She goes novice hurdling and will be ready mid-November. Probably wants 2m4f.
Ucanaver2016MareHurdleAbsolutely flew home in a bumper last season before slightly disappointing in Listed company twice thereafter. Goes hurdling this term and will start off this afternoon at Worcester. Has schooled very well.
Whynotnowken2017GeldingNHFIs nearly ready fitness-wise but still a bit green and immature. Has actually had plenty of education and will start out soon. Might just take a minute for the penny to drop but he should be interesting when it does.
World Of Dreams2016GeldingNHF/HdlA typically excellent find by Ron Huggins, this well-bred gelding won two bumpers last season, perhaps surprising us a little in the process. Goes maiden/novice hurdling this term over 2m-2m4f. Had a wind op since last seen.

Regal Encore primed for ‘his Gold Cup’ at Ascot

Anthony Honeyball has Ascot specialist Regal Encore primed for his “Gold Cup” in the ‘My Oddsboost’ On Betfair Swinley Chase on Saturday.

The veteran is now 13 – but showed he was as good as ever last time out when third to Mister Malarky in December at the track in a race he has won before.

While he was pulled up in the Ladbrokes Trophy, before that he won the Sodexho Gold Cup at Ascot – his fourth win at a venue he has also been placed at another four times.

“He seems in good form and he seems to cope with testing ground, these days he appears to appreciate a big of dig in the ground and you could say he likes Ascot,” said Honeyball.

“I’ve never added up how much money he’s won around there, but it’s a hell of a lot.

“He’s won every decent three-mile chase they have. They have three particular valuable ones and he’s won them all. The one in October, the one in December twice and he won this one three years ago and has been third in it twice. He’s an absolute star.

“He probably appreciates Ascot so well because he can get breathers going down the hill and they go a pretty even gallop which he can cope with.

“He quite enjoys the fences there and they can catch a few out if you are not on your A game. Even when he gives them a rub he’s still quite quick over them.

“Just the nature of Ascot helps him, he gets his breathers in and the fences help – he’s got a remarkable record around there.”

He added: “He’s rated 150 at 13 and his career-high was only 154. Last season he would have only just sneaked in the National – if he had done. He wasn’t put in the National this year – we might look at something like the Midlands National.

“Ascot is probably plan A, B and C at the minute – this is just like his Gold Cup.”

Regal Encore headlines Ascot treble for Honeyball

Anthony Honeyball described Saturday as the “best day” of his training career after celebrating a 308-1 treble at Ascot, highlighted by the victory of Regal Encore in the Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase.

Despite being in the twilight of his career, the popular 12-year-old demonstrated he still has plenty to offer when going one better than 12 months ago in the valuable Grade Three prize to register a fourth course-and-distance success.

Jumping well throughout the three-mile contest in the hands of Richie McLernon, the 14-1 shot took command of matters from long-time leader Might Bite over the second last before demonstrating the best of his battling abilities to defeat Whatmore by a length and quarter.

Honeyball said: “Without a doubt it’s our best day I think. Any day Regal has been here and won a big pot has been incredible.

“Ordinarily we would have been hopeful of a big run, but a few weeks ago he was a bit flat and he wasn’t eating up as well.

“He has come back to hand, but we felt we missed one or two bits of work in that time. It was right to run, but it was last minute. As he loves it, we thought if it only ends up as a run, it will get us back on track for another day and that’s fine.

“Richie kept him happy and you couldn’t really see him running poorly from there as he was always running a good race, but I was worried he might blow up a touch with what we missed.”

Assessing future plans, Honeyball hinted an outing in next month’s Ladbrokes Trophy could be next on the agenda, for which Regal Encore was introduced at 25-1 by William Hill and Paddy Power.

He said: “He has run well in the Ladbrokes Trophy before and he is in that. He can go out wide and be handy and I think it probably is the obvious option.

“We were thinking about a Becher Chase, but we will probably go for the Ladbrokes Trophy as they will go an end-to-end gallop.”

Kid Commando formed the middle leg of Honeyball’s haul when resuming his progression with an impressive front-running success in the Sodexo Handicap Hurdle.

Last sighted finishing third in a Grade Two at Kempton in February, the six-year-old made the most of a drop down to Listed company to add a second win over hurdles to his name.

Maintaining a good gallop throughout the extended one-mile-seven-furlong prize, the 11-4 favourite found plenty from the sharp end to cross the line four and three-quarter lengths clear of Malaya.

The winning trainer said: “It was a good decision (to stick at this trip) as if he ran well but it had been too sharp. it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but he will come out of this better for another day.

“If we had gone to Carlisle on Sunday, it would have definitely been a hard race for him and he has probably got too much boot to run over two and a half round Carlisle.

“I was keen to go up to two and half, but I think now, as long as it is very soft ground, we will stick at two and if not we will go up to two and a half.”

Sully D’Oc (9-2) got the ball rolling for both Honeyball and McLernon with a first victory over fences in the Ascot Underwriting Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.

Another National Encore on agenda for Regal

Anthony Honeyball’s veteran chaser Regal Encore may yet contest the Grand National for a third time this season.

The 12-year-old, whose two attempts at the Aintree spectacular so far have come in 2017 and 2019, could make his seasonal reappearance in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot on Saturday.

Having finished second behind Kim Bailey’s Vinndication in the same race last season, Regal Encore will aim to go one better before moving on to the Becher Chase at Aintree.

“He might well go to Ascot on Saturday for the race he was second in last season, the Sodexo,” said Honeyball.

“He could then back that up a month later in something like the Becher Chase.

“That could well be his two-race plan – go to Ascot, and if he came out of it well then have a break through to the Becher Chase, which would be a nice target for him.”

Regal Encore has finished eighth and seventh so far in his two National bids, and Honeyball remains open to the idea of a third tilt at the race – if he makes the cut from his rating.

“His mark is such that he’s just on the cusp right now,” said the Dorset trainer.

“He just might squeak in off his mark, but obviously in the races he’s running in it’s going to be tough – these handicaps are tough.

“He might end up dropping a few pounds – so it would be nice, during the course of the season, if he could once again win one of these nice races and then that would just about get him in.

“We’ll just have to see how he goes. He’s 12 rising 13 now, but if his handicap was such that he could get in the National then he would run in it again.”

Honeyball has also issued an update on the promising Acey Milan, who impressed with a winning chasing debut at Aintree on Saturday.

A run in Newbury’s John Francome Novices’ Chase is now pencilled in for the six-year-old, who already has two Listed bumper wins and a second-placed finish in the Grade Three Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on his CV.

“He’s looking very good – he came out of (Aintree) really well,” said Honeyball.

“The earliest he’d probably run again would be a race at Newbury that we’ve got in mind, a Grade Two three-mile novice chase.

“It’s a bit of a leap up – obviously it was a handicap the other day, and his rating will be such that we’d probably be looking more to towards handicaps, but he’s got that high-quality back form from his bumpers.

“We just might be inclined to go there if it came up with very soft ground. It’s a possible for him next, because he’s come out of the race very well.”