Aintree on Regal agenda
Regal Encore is set to make his eagerly-anticipated debut over obstacles at Aintree on Saturday.
A winner at Southwell and Chepstow in the early stages of last season, the JP McManus-owned five-year-old was saved for the Cheltenham Festival and ran a fantastic race to beat all bar the impressive Briar Hill in the Champion Bumper.
Trainer Anthony Honeyball is excited about seeing his stable star make his seasonal return and jumping bow in Saturday's Betfred "Racing's Biggest Supporter" Maiden Hurdle.
Honeyball said: "We just need to get over the next couple of days but provided all goes well, he'll be running at Aintree.
"He's been ready for a few weeks but we just decided to wait until we got a bit more rain and a few more opportunities.
"It's two miles on Saturday and he'll probably end up being better over two and a half, but it's a nice starting point for him. He'll get a bit of education and you obviously hope he'll be able to get the job done as well.
"We are looking forward to it, but at the same time you don't want the bubble to burst. There isn't really any pressure and as long as he jumps well and is in the shake-up, we'll be happy.
"His schooling has gone well at home. He has a good aptitude for jumping and it has all been straightforward, so hopefully he takes that to the racecourse."