No excuses for ‘very hopeful’ L’Homme Presse team at Ascot

L’Homme Presse’s owner Andy Edwards thinks everything is in his favour to land a third Grade One at Ascot on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Racing.

The nine-year-old returned from a 13-month lay-off at Lingfield last month at the Winter Million meeting, getting the better of Protektorat to make it back into the winner’s enclosure.

He was off the track following a final-fence fall at Kempton in the King George VI Chase in December 2022, having missed a possible engagement in the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the Venetia Williams team.

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L’Homme Presse’s owner Andy Edwards is expecting big things from his star on Saturday at Ascot, live on Sky Sports Racing

That is the plan this time around, but Edwards is hoping his star can grab a third victory at the highest level in the Betfair Ascot Chase before setting his sights on the Cheltenham showpiece.

“The ground is the only thing we think about for him and it’s perfect,” Edwards told Sky Sports Racing. “He won a Graduation Chase here before so we think he likes the course.

“We’re really happy, everyone’s happy in the yard and he’s shown all his usual characteristics. In this situation, we’re really hopeful.

“Let’s hope he can do the business for us!”

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Charlie Deutsch is aware of the pressure L’Homme Presse faces as he needs to win the Ascot Chase this weekend to head for the Gold Cup at Cheltenham

Edwards also admitted the lack of progress made by L’Homme Presse left the team wondering if they would ever get him back to his brilliant best, showcased with back-to-back Grade One wins in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase and the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

“Before the race [at Lingfield] we were excited, but after 13 months off from an injury you are never really sure, although he was going well at home,” he added.

“You are never sure if they have that aptitude and that will to win, but what he did was amazing.

“It’s well documented that I burst into tears and was very emotional. A lot of that was relief but most of it was pride that he stepped up to the plate and did what he does best.

“It was around May time that he wasn’t coming back to himself. There was one particular moment that Venetia [Williams] put her hand on my shoulder and just said, we’d get him back.”

Watch every race from Ascot on Saturday, including the Betfair Ascot Chase, live on Sky Sports Racing.

Source : Sky Sports