REGAL ENCORE is highly regarded by the Honeyball team and this potentially top-class prospect has been found a seemingly straightforward assignment in which to open his account over hurdles. Second in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival in March behind Briar Hill, he was strongly supported into odds-on favouritism when beaten into second spot on his Aintree hurdling debut last month. Tony McCoy resumes the partnership here and the combination should go one better in a modest-looking affair. His rivals with form, such as Forget And Forgive, Saffron Prince and Slaney Star, already appear limited and it could be that Sudden Wish, a Kempton scorer on the level in September, may emerge as the main danger on his hurdling debut for a yard with a good record here.
Forget And Forgive (IRE) 100-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, lost place 3 out, weakened before next, tailed off, last of 11, well behind Amore Alato (10-12) at Wincanton 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gs.
Mr Spiggott (IRE) 7-2 (11-8) Tracked leader, led stand side group over 2f out, headed over 1f out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 9, 3l behind Ebony Express (11-5) at Windsor 1m 4f am hcp 0-70 (5) hvy in Oct (flat).
Regal Encore (IRE) 8-15fav (11-0) Held up in rear, jumped left 1st, headway when a bit slow 3 out, shaken up to close last, soon went 2nd, stayed on, unable to get to winner, 2nd of 9, 2 1/4l behind Garde La Victoire (11-0) at Aintree 2m mdn hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Saffron Prince 33-1 (11-0) Mid-division, lost place 2 out, headway under pressure between last 2, kept on same pace, never troubled leaders, 5th of 13, 15l behind King Rolfe (11-0) at Stratford 2m mdn hdl (4) sft in Oct.
Slaney Star (IRE) 50-1 (10-8) Well in rear when ran out 2nd, in a race won by Ashdown Lad (11-0) at Plumpton 2m mdn hdl (5) hvy, 13 ran.
Sweet Boy Vic (IRE) 50-1 (10-11) Mid-division, under pressure halfway, never dangerous, 10th of 12, 43l behind Suerte Al Salto (11-0) at Wincanton 2m mdn hdl (5) sft in Apr.
Top Chief 100-1 (11-0) Took keen hol in last pair, struggling before 3 out, plugging on but no chance when not much room and pushed left 2 out, 8th of 11, 25l behind Long Lunch (11-0) at Plumpton 2m mdn hdl (5) sft in Oct.
Two Sugars 66-1 (11-0) Chased leaders until 6th, 9th of 13, well behind Ashdown Lad (11-0) at Plumpton 2m mdn hdl (5) hvy.