Regal targeting Ascot encore

Anthony Honeyball will look to Ascot next weekend with Regal Encore after deciding to sidestep Saturday’s Classic Chase at Warwick.

Regal Encore returns after winning the Lavazza Jolie Silver Cup

The Bet365 Handicap Chase is over only two miles and five furlongs compared to the three-mile-five of the Classic Chase, but it is decent ground that Honeyball is chasing with the JP McManus-owned nine-year-old, who is now rated 150.

“I had a look at the stats for the Warwick race and only Hey Big Spender has won it off anything like the mark we have in recent years,” said Honeyball.

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“It’s normally won by light weights and in the likely ground it would be very hard for him.

“We weighed up the options and decided to wait for Ascot and hope it is decent ground there. Also, the race is worth more and there’ll probably be less runners.

“I know it’s a drop back in trip, but he just wants decent ground.

“If we don’t get it there we’ll wait for Doncaster (Sky Bet Chase). I just want a run now with a view towards March and races like the Midlands and Irish Nationals.”

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