Midlands mission for Encore

Anthony Honeyball is keen to give Regal Encore a shot at the Betfred Midlands National provided ground conditions are in his favour.

Regal Encore: Back in the groove earlier this season

The Mosterton handler believes the extended four-mile-one-furlong marathon at Uttoxeter on March 18 could be the ideal test for the nine-year-old.

Having claimed his first victory in over a year at Ascot on his penultimate outing, the JP McManus-owned gelding failed to complete his most recent start after pulling up in Grade Three at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Honeyball said: "We thought we would get away with two-mile-five around Cheltenham, but Barry Geraghty said he was flat to the boards. It was a bit of a non-event.

"I think at Cheltenham all in all you have got to have that gear change, which he hasn't got for there.

"I think we will head up to Uttoxeter for the Midlands National. If you said to me it is going to be no worse than good to soft, soft in places than that is where he will be going, but we will obviously have to speak to connections."

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