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Anthony Honeyball eyeing Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper joy

Anthony Honeyball believes Oscarteea is a lively longshot to go one better than stablemate Regal Encore did in last year's Weatherbys Champion Bumper when travelling to the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.

The trainer had to settle for second best behind Briar Hill with his joint-favourite 12 months ago but this time is hoping to sneak in under the radar and enter the Prestbury Park winner's enclosure.

Oscarteea was second in National Hunt Flat races at Wincanton and Aintree last spring but the 65,000 euros purchase managed to get his head in front on his return to action in October when landing a 15-runner Chepstow contest from Hello George, who franked the form by scoring at Sandown next time out.

Honeyball's charge was then quietly fancied for a competitive heat at Ascot but raced too keenly under Aidan Coleman that day and could eventually only plug on at one pace for fifth as a result.

However, he has shown no signs of suffering from such temperamental problems in his home work since and connections are keen to let the son of Oscar take his chance on the big stage.

"He's a definite runner," the trainer told At The Races. "If you look at his last run, he ran with the choke out for three-quarters of the race and Aidan gave him a breather turning in and he stayed on to finish fifth. He should have been near as damn it winning that race.

"That would be a worry as mentally he didn't cope with that race, but we've done a racecourse gallop since and Aidan's worked him and hopefully he puts it together. If he does his job properly and gives himself a chance, then he's a very good horse. He would have a decent chance."

Honeyball rode as an amateur for Richard Barber and progressed as a conditional jockey for Paul Nicholls, partnering 45 winners under rules, before he began his training career in 2006 and is regarded very much as a star of the future in that field.


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Anthony Honeyball eyeing Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper joy

Anthony Honeyball believes Oscarteea is a lively longshot to go one better than stablemate Regal Encore did in last year's Weatherbys Champion Bumper when travelling to the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.

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