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1st January 2022 Cheltenham

By Graham Clark

Jubilant joint owner Andy Edwards ensured his voice was heard above everything else after L’Homme Presse provided him with what he described as a “great moment” with an impressive victory in the Paddy Power Novices’ Chase (2m 4.5f) at Cheltenham this afternoon.

The Venetia Williams-trained seven year old maintained his unbeaten record over fences when following up his previous victories this season at Exeter and last time out at Ascot with a near faultless performance in the Grade Two prize.

Settled into a nice rhythm out in front by Charlie Deutsch, the 7-4 favourite put in a round of jumping that defied his relative inexperience over the larger obstacles.

Turning for home The Glancing Queen appeared a big danger, however L’Homme Presse was not to be denied and after meeting the last on a good stride quickened up the hill to score by a comfortable 10 lengths.

Edwards said: “It is no point owning a horse and not being enthusiastic and enjoying the good moments.

“There are so many difficult moments owning a horse when you have a great moment like this you have to scream the roof down.

“It is the most fantastic feeling you can ever think off.”

As for triumphant trainer Williams, who was winning the race for the first time, she was particularly taken with the round of jumping put in by her rising star, who was trimmed to 10-1 for the Turners Novices’ Chase at The Festival by Paddy Power.

Williams said: “I was very pleased. I loved the way he jumped. I’m particularly pleased with how he quickened up from the last to the line.

“We always hoped (he would do this). He looks like a chaser. His first run last season was right at the end of the season in April but that was in preparation for his chasing career.

“He had a tendon injury before we got him so you have to mind that irrespective of how he performs on the ground.

“Andy has put a lot into this. He brought the horse shortly after he picked up his injury in France and has given the horse all the time he needs.

“Peter Pink, who had Nordance Prince a few years ago with us, has got a half share in him. It is great he has come back and taken a share in him with Andy.

“He has had three relatively quick races so there will be no rush. We wanted to bring him here to Cheltenham with a view to a couple of months’ time back here in my head.”


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