Regal Encore Grand National Wins
Regal Encore has never won the Grand National.
Their best finish to date was in 2019 where they came 7th. They were ridden by Jonathan Burke and trained by Anthony Honeyball.
Very rarely do we see a Grand National runner come through after making a big impression as a juvenile over shorter distances and in national hunt flat races, but that’s exactly what Regal Encore did. He would run twice in the big race at Aintree with credit on both occasions, finishing 8th in 2017 and a couple of places better, 7th in 2019.
Foaled in 2008, this horse made a lightning-fast start to his career and almost went to the top of the game instantly, nearly landing a Grade One national hunt flat race. From then, he would go well as a hurdler and then into a chaser, which was always going to be where he would end up.
Owned by JP McManus, the horse would run in a number of big handicap races over the years, some of them being successful. A good jumper, he looked the ideal type to go to Aintree for the bigger obstacles and had no problem jumping them on the two occasions he ran in the Grand National.
|2019||7||£20,000||10-12||Jonathan Burke||Anthony Honeyball|
|2017||8||£3,600||10-13||Robbie Power||Anthony Honeyball|
Regal Encore’s Early Years
Regal Encore would make his racecourse debut in February 2012, going straight into a national hunt flat race rather than going down the route of amateur racing in point to points. It was a winning debut at Southwell on the all-weather, coming away to beat a field of 11 by two lengths.
He would go to Chepstow next, defying a penalty and improving dramatically for the experience of his first start to record a winning distance of eight lengths. Next up would be the Cheltenham Festival and the Grade One Champion Bumper, a race known for tomorrow’s stars, and Regal Encore ran a cracker to finish second, sent off as the 7/1 joint-favourite.
Hurdling would come next, with Regal Encore heading to Aintree for his first run over obstacles, finishing second before getting compensation for that and winning at Plumpton on his second start. Another second would come after, before an excellent fourth in the Imperial Cup at Sandown, and then he would go to Ireland, finishing midfield in a Punchestown handicap to round off the season.
The horse would remain over hurdles the following season, trying to win a big pot, and while he ran well in some big races, the win at that level eluded him.
Regal Encore’s Big Race Wins
Regal Encore would run at a high level for a large part of his career and won four big races, thanks to being at that level for so long. Placed at Grade One level, his big race wins would all be handicaps, and they would all come at the same course.
That was Ascot, a track he clearly loved and ran well at on a number of different occasions. The first big race win would come in December 2016, winning the Ascot Silver Cup, which is a Listed handicap race.
Just over 12 months later, he would be back at the same venue, lifting big honours again, showing great spirit and fight. This time it was the Swinley Chase, another Listed handicap. This win would take him up to a handicap mark of 154, which would be the highest he would reach during his racing career.
The third big race win would see him go back to Ascot for the Silver Cup in 2019, landing that again after his 2016 success. Lastly, he would go back to Ascot again for his fourth and final big race win, the biggest of them all, four years after the first big race win he recorded.
This was in October 2020, when he won the Sodexo Gold Cup, a Grade Three handicap chase, one of the bigger races ran early in the season and one that is known for being fiercely competitive.
With plenty of good runs at a variety of different tracks, it could easily have been more for Regal Encore in terms of big race wins, but four is still a very respectable figure. Going back to Ascot time and time again to run well, one of the biggest national hunt tracks in the UK is a great feat for any horse, and one that allowed this one to really flourish.