Venetia Williams at Sandown Park BSI

‘Just Soundbites’ – Venetia Williams Rubbishes Calls For More Festivals In Britain

Legendary racehorse trainer Venetia Williams has hit back at claims that British racing needs more festivals.

Williams, who has trained Grand National and Cheltenham winners, gave us her insight into some of the biggest talking points in horse racing today.

The L’Homme Presse trainer revealed what her plans are for the horse that is expected to be a major player in this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Britain doesn’t need more festivals like the Dublin Racing Festival

That’s a load of piffle. It is just soundbites. We have loads of meetings we could call festivals.

Three days at Cheltenham in November, you’ve got Newbury which has two days and you could call that a festival if you wanted to. What is a festival anyway? It is several days at the same place!

I don’t get the argument which says things have gone wrong here because we don’t have enough festivals.

Plans For L’Homme Presse & Royal Pagaille

L’Homme will hopefully run on Sunday at Lingfield.

Royal Pagaille will run the day before at Haydock in a handicap, one he has won in two of the last three years. I am not sure there’s much chance of Haydock being on because of the frost. 

*Royal Pagaille is 25/1 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup per the latest Cheltenham Betting Odds at BoyleSports.

With L’Homme Presse, I can’t be too specific. He unseated his rider in the King George, he just needed some time and rehab.

When you compete at that level there are no easy races, and you can’t go there only half right.

L’Homme Presse Cheltenham Preparations

Hopefully he’ll run well next weekend and will improve a bit for it as he won’t have run for such a long time. All being well, if he comes out well from that, he’ll have one more run between then and the Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

People are saying take out the favourite and it is a pretty open race. There’s a lot of water under the bridge though before then.

*L’Homme Presse is 16/1 to win the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup in the latest Cheltenham Betting odds at BoyleSports.

Cheltenham Festival Trials – Cotswold Chase For L’Homme Presse?

I probably won’t have too much there. There is the Cotswold Chase over 3¼ miles so if Lingfield is scuppered because of frost, we might have to look at the Cotswold for L’Homme Presse.

The Lingfield race is two miles six furlongs which is a nice middle distance to be kicking off with. If the weather scuppers everything we’ll have to do something which is not ideal because that is the choice.

It’s A Mistake To Focus Solely On The Cheltenham Festival

It is always in the back of your mind for the whole season. But at the same time I think it is a mistake to get too one tracked focus on it. There’s a lot of very good racing elsewhere. Andy you only need to get a bruised foot the week before and if that’s all you’ve been focusing on that’s another year gone.

It is up to individuals as to how much they want to allow it to be dominant in their own minds. As far as I am concerned there’s a lot of great racing and a lot of big prizes to be won along the way.

Yes, the Championship races are there and it is nice to be able to go there and have your chances. But you have got to let it come to you rather than you being focused on it for the entire season.

*Prices subject to fluctuation.

Remember, always gamble responsibly. Here’s our Safer Gambling Guide.