Williams on weather watch for National hopeful Royale Pagaille.
Before deciding whether or not Royale Pagaille will compete in the Randox Grand National, Venetia Williams will monitor the weather.
The nine-year-old colt owned by Rich Ricci had defeated Bravemansgame in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, but he was relegated to the Cheltenham Gold Cup instead.
The mud-loving gelding, on the other hand, did not receive the ground his connections had hoped for, and he finished sixth to Galopin Des Champs.
Following Mon Mome’s surprise victory in 2009, Williams became the second woman after Jenny Pitman to train a Grand National winner.
She has Royale Pagaille, Haydock’s National Trial third-place winner Quick Wave, and Cloudy Glen in mind for the April 15 Aintree spectacle.
The trainer with a base in Kings Caple is awaiting weather forecasts before making any decisions, including where Royale Pagaille will run next. He is taking into consideration both the Grand National and the Irish version of the race, where he would shoulder top weight.
She said: “They are all fine. Royale Pagaille ran well.
“A week before, I thought he would get the ground he liked, with all the rain that was promised, yet it didn’t really come.
“But he still ran a super race. He will have have another run. He is in both the Irish and the English Nationals and there is no decision yet as to where he goes. Likewise, we will see how the others are before making any plans.”
L’Homme Presse won the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase for Williams, Chambard won the Kim Muir at last year’s Festival, Funambule Silvola came in second place in the Champion Chase, and Pink Legend came in second place in the Mares’ Chase.
She did not have the same luck at the National Hunt highlight this time, which was always going to be a big ask.
Reflecting on the meeting, she said: “We had such an amazing Cheltenham last year, we ended up running everything that got a run in it this year, which was probably a bit more gung-ho than we should have been.
“We still had some good runs. Pink Legend was third in the Mares’ Chase, and that was a fantastic run in a much deeper race than last year. She reversed placings with the horse that beat her last year (Elimay).
“Green Book finished fourth in the Pertemps, only beaten three lengths, and Royale Pagaille we were delighted with.
“Funambule Sivola was fine after his fall in the Champion Chase. That was a real disappointment, as I thought he had a really good chance of running into a place again.
“He has been such a brilliant jumper that it caught him by surprise, as it did everyone else. He is fine, though.”
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