Anthony Honeyball is looking forward to stepping Sam Brown back up to three miles in the Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot on Saturday.
The bright young prospect took the Grade Two Altcar Novices’ Chase by 15 lengths at Haydock over two and a half miles, after enjoying a facile success over fences debut over the longer trip at Lingfield.
Both races were on heavy ground and conditions are expected to be similar at Ascot.
“It was great to see him win at Lingfield after such a long time off and show the engine was still there,” Honeyball told Sky Sports Racing.
“I don’t think there are going to be any problems for him in terms of the ground. We are going to get the rain so it’s going to be soft/heavy ground. That was our main sticking point.
“The good thing about him is that he does thrive on soft/heavy ground. He’s a very exciting horse.
“To see him in that Grade Two over two and a half was great. He should improve again for stepping back up to three miles.”
Honeyball intends to run Regal Encore in the Keltbray Swinley Chase, a race he has won in the past on the way to having a crack at the Randox Health Grand National, in which he was seventh last year.
He said: “He’s got a great record at Ascot. After he won the £100,000 race there just before Christmas we gave it a week and then said this race, which he won in 2018 and was third last year.
“It would be the plan and go from there on to the National again.”
Jepeck also holds an entry in the Ascot race but he is more likely to run in the Veterans’ Handicap Chase at Exeter’s rearranged meeting on Sunday.
“Ascot is a back-up as we didn’t know if Exeter was going to be rescheduled from last Sunday,” said the Dorset handler.
“Ascot will remain an option, but the likelihood is he will go to Exeter. It makes most sense.”