Venetia Williams at Cheltenham BSI

Venetia Williams: Irish Dominance Nothing To Do With Quality of Trainers

Venetia Williams has given us her take on the reason for Irish horse racing dominance.

The legendary horse racing trainer has questioned the basis of Ireland’s racing supremacy and even went as far as to predict that a reversal of fortunes for British racing is coming.

Plus, Williams gives us the inside scoop on the current situation of buying and training French horses.

No Point In Sending Runners To Ireland

No, there’s no point. Everyone keeps telling us over here the best horses are in Ireland so why would we want to go over there and take them on at their own home game? Look at the Festival results. That bears out my point.

It is probably because they have the owners with the deepest pockets at the moment and money buys success.

But there is a lot of chat and talk about everything (in the build-up to Cheltenham) and at the end of the day the proof is only on the race course.

Richard Johnson is right – The British will eventually wrestle back dominance from the Irish

I totally agree with Richard. Everything goes in cycles. At the moment the swing is in their favour but will change in time.

They [the Irish] have the richest owners. It’s nothing to do with the quality of the trainer.

Venetia Williams On Her Fondness For French Horses

We have been for years. It is a slight concern that so many others are now looking to buy in France. What also is a concern is that a lot of the Irish pin-hookers are buying French foals and sometimes even foals before they have even been born.

They ship them over to Ireland and then sell them as either once or twice run point to pointers, or send them to their store sale. It must be difficult for the Irish to accept that is what they want to do.

*Venetia Williams-trained L’Homme Presse, a French horse, is currently 16/1 to win the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup in the latest Cheltenham Betting odds at BoyleSports.

For centuries the Emerald Isle has been the source of the great and the good to grace our racecourses. That is a concern because I tend not to buy unraced horses, but when they have run a few times and have given an indication of their ability.

You have to be a bit careful. The obvious ones still make zillions, so you have to look outside the box a bit.

Reality Check In 5 or 6 Years With French Horses

That’s always going to happen. You have to be encouraged that there are a lot of wealthy people who want to get into jump racing at a high level. It is all supply and demand. The obvious good horses are always going to make a load of money.

But it will be a reality check when you look back over the last five or six years and see what these very expensive horses subsequently did. That doesn’t stop people though.

I just like buying French-bred horses because I have had success through doing that. I have an agent who I have been working with for 20 years and he knows what we tend to have success with and keep trying that route.

*Venetia Williams-trained Royal Pagaille, another French horse, is currently 25/1 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup per the latest Cheltenham Betting odds at BoyleSports.

*Prices subject to fluctuation.

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