CONNECTIONS of L’Homme Presse are metaphorically applying the bubble wrap as they anxiously count down the days to the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Venetia Williams’ nine-year-old gave co-owners Andy and Pam Edwards and Peter and Patricia Pink a day to remember when scooping the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase on a wet Wednesday in 2022, but they were forced to watch on as he missed the blue riband through injury 12 months ago.

Seen as one of Britain’s best chances of Gold Cup success, L’Homme Presse is now close to finally getting his chance to bid for glory in the week’s feature event.

Having shown no signs of any reoccurring injury worries since returning from a long 391-day lay-off, connections will soon be able to dream of a second triumph at National Hunt racing’s showpiece meeting.

"We haven’t had any little niggles or anything so far, touch wood, but we still have 10 days or so to go and that is plenty of time for a racehorse to do something silly," said Edwards.

"It’s a slightly anxious time, rather than a nervous time. At this time (of year), everyone is in the same boat and they are trying to wrap their horses in cotton wool, while keeping the horses ticking over – and it’s a massive effort to get them to any race, never mind the Festival.

"The beauty of any other race is, if you don’t get them to a said race, there is always another one. But if you don’t get them to the Festival, that is it until next year, so the pressure is on all the staff and trainers at the moment.”

He went on: "From our point of view, we just want to get him there and what chance he has and all the rest of it, right now that is immaterial. Once we are there on the day, that’s when we can start thinking about what sort of chance we have.

"I’m very relaxed and he will get there or he won’t. What will be, will be, and I’m very relaxed about that side of things."