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  • 12:50 Hexham Bookmakers 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle2m 110y

  • £4,800 added 4yo+ 11 ran
  • Winner £3,119 2nd £916 3rd £458 4th £229
  • Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 25.20s
  • Off time: 12:50:34

Regal Encore suffers surprise defeat under Tony McCoy

Last Updated: 11/12/13 4:58pm

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Regal Encore goes in pursuit of Seeyouatmidnight

Regal Encore goes in pursuit of Seeyouatmidnight

Seeyouatmidnight gave the sponsors the result they wanted in the Hexham Bookmakers 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.

The extended two mile contest was supposed to be a stroll in the park for Cheltenham Champion bumper runner-up Regal Encore who was sent off the 1/4 favourite under Tony McCoy.

The five year old had suffered a surprise defeat behind a subsequent winner at Aintree on his hurdling bow but made no mistake at Plumpton last time and looked to have been found an excellent opportunity to double his tally.

A keen going and buzzy individual, Regal Encore was held-up a long way out the back as 66/1 chance Seeyouatmidnight made the running and still had plenty of work to do turning into the straight with McCoy seemingly confident that he would be able to pick up the leader.

The Sandy Thomson-trained five year old hadn't read the script, however, and kept up a relentless gallop to score by two lengths under Ryan Mania with the disappointing favourite failing to significantly close on the leader in the final stages.

The winner had won an Irish point-to-point in April and was making his first start for new connections.

Trainer Anthony Honeyball felt the favourite did not run up to his best, as has been the case with a few of his string in recent days.

"It was obviously disappointing not to see him win, but it's not the end of the world," he said.

"There are some positives to take from it and some of our horses aren't running great at the moment. The ones we are expecting to win are finishing second or third, and the ones we are expecting to finish third or fourth are finishing well beaten.

"On paper this was a penalty kick for him and it hasn't worked out that way. If people take it literally then that's fine, but we think he's better than that.

"We'll get him home and look after him and see where we go from here. The main thing is he seems to have come out of the race fine and we'll see what options are available to him once we get him back in good form."

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