Regal gearing up for hurdles debut
Regal Encore, runner-up in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, is on course to make his hurdling debut next month.
Regal Encore, runner-up in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, is on course to make his hurdling debut next month.
Trainer Anthony Honeyball reports the JP McManus-owned five-year-old to have had a good summer and to have schooled well.
"He's doing really well. He's back in full work and has had a few indoor schools. He's going to school outside next week, which is something he's done before when he was a three/four-year-old," said the Dorset handler.
"Last season we concentrated on our bumpers and the way things worked out, when he had a setback during the season, he just had the one bumper early (at Chepstow) and the one bumper at Cheltenham, so our hand was forced there.
"I suppose he's a little bit bigger and a little bit broader. He looks the part - a serious horse.
"He went back to Mr McManus's stud at Martinstown in Ireland and they always do a really good job there. He came back after a break in the middle of last season after that early setback and came back looking brilliant.
"We sent him back there for the summer and he looks really well. It's set him up well for the season and hopefully he won't be one of those bumper horses that is just that, because he does very much wing his hurdles and he seems to have a real talent.
"He can run any time we want really. He'll be three-quarters fit at the minute and he'll run in a run-of-the-mill novice hurdle somewhere from the second week of October onwards.
"We can't really plan beyond that. We'd like to think we'll go for this Graded race and that Graded race, but we have to prove that. At the moment all the signs are good."