Honeyball sweet on 'Parfois' for more glory
Promising mare Ms Parfois secured her second victory in a week with a determined display in yesterday's feature at Newbury.
Anthony Honeyball's point-to-point and bumper scorer won twice from five starts over hurdles and after finishing third on her chasing debut at Uttoxeter, the six-year-old opened her account at Cheltenham last Friday.
With Honeyball keen to strike while the iron was hot, the six-year-old was sent into battle for Listed honours in the TBA Mares' Novices' Chase.
And with Noel Fehily keeping last week's successful partnership intact, the 9/4 favourite again jumped accurately and travelled powerfully for much of the near three-mile contest.
The ultra-consistent Happy Diva moved into her slipstream, but could never quite get on terms, with Ms Parfois finding plenty for pressure on the run-in to prevail by three-and-a-half lengths.
"I'm very pleased with that and I feel she's run just as well as she did at Cheltenham the other day," Honeyball stated.
"You never really know until you run them again, but just from watching her at Cheltenham, I felt she had a bit more in the tank than it looked at the line.
"She didn't spark when she ran at Uttoxeter and then when the handicapper dropped her to 123 we felt we had to go for the handicap at Cheltenham.
"We were half-joking when we said if she went and won there she could still come to Newbury, but that's the way it's worked out and I'm delighted."
Considering future targets, the trainer added: "The first race that comes to mind is a mares' chase at Leicester on January 23. I don't think she'll run before then.
"We'll probably stick to the mares' races this year and then next year I can see her running in races like the Peter Marsh at Haydock and I might even give her an entry in the Welsh National."
Nicky Henderson rarely leaves his local track without a winner and the Seven Barrows handler teamed up with Nico de Boinville to complete a treble.
impressive French recruit Style De Garde was an impressive eight-length winner of the juvenile hurdle on his British debut. The 5/4 favourite carries the colours of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing and is a best priced 33/1 for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Henderson and De Boinville were soon on the mark again when 7/1 shot Pacific De Baune stretched seven lengths clear of 7/4 favourite Potterman in the two-mile maiden hurdle.
The treble was completed by Mr Whipped (7/1), which kept his unbeaten record intact with victory in the novices' hurdle.
The in-form Henderson was also on the mark at Ludlow where he teamed up with jockey James Bowen to land the opening novice hurdle with Melangerie (11/2).