HEREFORDSHIRE trainer Venetia Williams is hopeful that L'Homme Presse's return to action will be a successful one at Lingfield on Sunday as she looks ahead to the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Williams’ 2022 Brown Advisory winner has not been seen since parting company with Charlie Deutsch at the final fence in that year’s King George VI Chase when booked for second.

Injury has kept him off the course for over a year, but he is one of nine entries in the £165,000 contest over two miles and six furlongs on the final day of the track’s Winter Million weekend.

"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," said Williams.

"If he comes out of that well, L’Homme Presse will have one more run before the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

"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."

Dan Skelton’s Protektorat, December Gold Cup winner Fugitif and Sam Thomas’ Iwilldoit look like providing the main opposition, along with Gavin Cromwell’s Limerick Lace.