Dorset trainer Anthony Honeyball believes he has amassed his strongest team yet for the autumn and winter months spearheaded by the Grade 3 winner Fountains Windfall and Regal Encore who delivered a memorable victory in the listed Ascot Silver Cup.
At his recent owners’ day the trainer said: “We have a number of potentially very decent younger horses among the team. I hope Sam Brown, who fulfilled his promise by winning both his bumper starts, will continue his progress over hurdles. He’s a very exciting prospect. We have several very nice mares including Ms Parfois and Tacenda who will go chasing, having shown plenty of promise in their hurdle races last season.
“Young recruits from the point-to-point scene include Duhallow Gesture, Don Lami and My Dance and Urca De Lima debut success in a bumper suggests she is very much one to note.”
Speaking of Regal Encore, who like stable mate Pure Vision will run in the colours of JP McManus, Honeyball said: “He’s been such a star for the yard for several seasons now and won a £100,000 listed handicap chase at Ascot. But the stand out performance was his eye-catching run in Aintree’s Grand National where he ran on from a long way back to finish eighth. That will be the aim again this season, and we’re hopeful he will pick up another big chase on the way.”
The 2017-2018 season proved Anthony’s best to date with 31 winners and £290,000 in prize money, the result of a carefully thought out strategy where quality horses have been purchased to run in the better races.
“We’re very focused on what we want to achieve here at Potwell and I believe it is paying off. We’ll continue to aim high this year with the best collection of horses we’ve ever had,” he said.
The handicap chasers include the talented mare Cresswell Breeze who was unlucky to be brought down in a valuable chase at the Punchestown Festival in April when travelling well at the time, Act Now, City Supreme, Indian Brave and Solstice Son.
On the novice chase front, Anthony’s intended runners include Double Accord, Le Coeur Net, Midnight Tune and Pure Vision who is expected to run in the better races.
Novice hurdlers include East Wing, G For Ginger, who won well at Worcester earlier this month, Gift From God and Solstice Twilight.
Among the horses expected to make their bumper debuts are Acey Milan, a full brother to the multiple winning Lords Wishes and a half brother to Williams Wishes, the well-bred Everlanes, Fact of Life, Hideway Vic, Lechlade Magician, Nocturnal Myth, Represented, Royalewhit, Shapiro and Sojourn with Anthony’s wife Rachael riding some of them. “Rachael knows the horses better than anyone and it makes sense that she should ride them in races too. She is heavily involved with bringing on the young horses and we’re very lucky that she can ride them in races too,” he explained.
With an enviable track record, the Anthony Honeyball Racing Club is also set to attract plenty of people to the sport. “We’ve had a lot of success and a lot of fun with the club. This year’s horses are Mozo, who will run in mares’ handicap hurdle races and Our Sox, a versatile type who will go over hurdles and fences. It’s a great opportunity to get involved at an affordable price with visits to the yard to watch the horses work part and parcel of ownership.”
While the team gear up for the start of autumn jump racing, Anthony also had a word for Jukebox Jive. “It was great to have a couple of Flat runners this summer, including Jukebox Jive who won three for us. We don’t tend to have many summer jumpers, but the flat racing is a great added interest for the yard.”