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L’Homme Presse offers chance of first Gold Cup for Venetia Williams

The 2022 Cheltenham Festival was, as ever, packed with drama, shock winners, and agonising falls.

The apple of Venetia Williams’ eye

However, few sights were quite as arresting as L’Homme Presse powering up the Prestbury Park hill to victory in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, and indeed the show of strength was such that it has seen the Venetia Williams trained horse installed as a 14/1 ante-post chance in the Gold Cup 2023 horse racing betting odds. That would represent a first win in the prestigious race for the Herefordshire handler, although she’s not getting ahead of herself given all that can happen between now and the March showpiece 11 months hence.

After five wins on the bounce, the Paddy Power horse racing results confirm that L’Homme Presse did taste defeat in his final outing of the 2021/22 season, going down to Ahoy Senor in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase in April.

Perhaps the firmness of the ground at Aintree put paid to his chances there, but if the British weather is as typically damp and cool during the winter of 2023, you can be sure that L’Homme Presse will be targeted at some of National Hunt chasing’s most prestigious prizes next term.

Going for Gold

After watching their charge triumph in the Brown Advisory back in March, the owners of L’Homme Presse were ebullient in their praise for the horse and bullish towards his chances in another of the Cheltenham Festival’s key renewals. Part-owner Andy Edwards, flushed with pride, said that he’d be backing the chaser for success in the Gold Cup. “Why wouldn’t you? He was still going away up the hill in this ground, and he’ll be stronger next year.”

Williams refused to rule out entering the horse, who she has described as a ‘spectacular jumper’, in the race but is patently aware of the demands of preparing a runner for one of racing’s blue riband events.

The 2021/22 campaign could not have got off to a better start, with L’Homme Presse producing a fine staying-on win in his seasonal debut at Exeter. He was back in action just a couple of weeks later in a Class 2 outing at Ascot, and he showed an ability to run well right or left-handed when going clear to win by 13 lengths.

A debut on the Prestbury Park turf in January yielded victory in the Dipper Novices’ Chase, despite carrying 11st 3lb, his biggest jump up the ratings yet, L’Homme Presse dominated the field and bested the well-fancied The Glancing Queen by some ten lengths.

The French bred warmed up for his Cheltenham Festival triumph with another well-constructed win, this time at Sandown Park where he cantered home a 21-length winner in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase.

Doubters will suggest that L’Homme Presse hasn’t truly stepped up to the elite grade yet, despite his Brown Advisory triumph, because the ante-post favourite – Bravemansgame – didn’t run.

Nonetheless, Venetia’s horse has since finished ahead of Paul Nicholls’ fancy in that April assignment at Aintree, and so we have to expect L’Homme Presse to be even stronger over the three-mile trip next season and that would make him a stand-out contender to land Venetia Williams her first-ever Gold Cup win.

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