Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Honeyball Keeping Faith with Encore

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Honeyball Keeping Faith with Encore

Article excerpt

ANTHONY Honeyball is keeping the faith with Regal Encore after his stable star suffered a shock reverse at Hexham.

Last season's Champion Bumper runner-up lost little in defeat when second on his hurdling debut at Aintree in October and after comfortably going one better at Plumpton, the Hexham Bookmakers "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle appeared to be an excellent opportunity for him to follow up. Sent off the 1-4 favourite in the hands of perennial champion jockey Tony McCoy, Regal Encore travelled powerfully and was still apparently full of running rounding the home turn, albeit with plenty of ground to make up.

He began to make inroads on Sandy Thomson's front-running Seeyouatmidnight, ridden by Grand National-winning jockey Ryan Mania, but the 66-1 shot hurdled the last fluently and galloped on to record an unlikely two-length verdict.

Honeyball feels his five-yearold did not run up to his best, as has been the case with a few of his string in recent days. …

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