Encore takes Hexham test
Last season's Champion Bumper runner-up Regal Encore makes the long trip to Hexham on Wednesday.
Beaten on his hurdling debut at Aintree behind Garde Le Victoire, who has subsequently won again since, Regal Encore made no mistake last time out at Plumpton.
Trainer Anthony Honeyball is keen to get as much experience into him as possible and champion jockey Tony McCoy is making the journey north to ride him in the Hexham Bookmakers "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.
"Hexham will be interesting. I don't know much about the track, but I'm told it's quite stiff and the ground will be nice and soft, so it should be fine," said Honeyball.
"We just want to get some more experience into him while we can. You never know when the weather might turn and we don't want to be stuck with no experience if things freeze up for a few weeks.
"He's ready for another run, I'm very happy with him at home and we'll see what happens on Wednesday. I just want to get it out of the way and then we can move on.
"We've been conscious not to build him up too much and to just let him do his thing on the track. He improved a lot from Aintree to Plumpton and hopefully he can continue moving forward.
"It's nice to be able to get a few runs into him as he only ran twice last season and once the season before. In the long run, that's probably been good for him, but it's nice to be able to run him a bit more now."