HEREFORDSHIRE trainer Venetia Williams hailed Green Book as one of her ‘better buys’ after he booked his place on her team for next month’s Cheltenham Festival after recording back-to-back wins in the Virgin Bet Heroes Handicap Hurdle at Sandown Park last weekend.

The talented dual-purpose performer made it two wins from as many visits to the Esher track when battling on under Charlie Deutsch to defend his crown in the extended two miles and seven furlongs contest, which this year doubled up as a qualifier for the Pertemps Final.

Taking command of matters over the second last fence, the 6-1 chance continued to find plenty for pressure to defeat course specialist Call Me Lord by three lengths to set up tilt at the Pertemps Network Final at The Festival on March 16, which he is now as short as 12-1 for.

Williams previously won the Cheltenham contest back in 2009 with Kayf Aramis.

The Kings Caple trainer said: “I’d love to tell you this was the plan, it kind of was, but we were going to go for the Lanzarote then I thought we would have a better option at Lingfield but they lost that. I’m pleased we have got him qualified for the Pertemps Final. 

“He is one of my better buys at the Arqana (Deauville Autumn mixed) sale in November 2020. I wasn’t there and I hadn’t got a horse off the Flat for a while as it is tough to get them but I picked him out and I told my agent buy him.

“I said don’t look at him, buy him, as I knew he would look at him and say he is too small. He sent me a message just before saying the reserve is 30,000 euros and that nobody was here so I said just buy him. It took me a while to sell him.

“We put a partnership of four people together and they originally wanted a sixth share each but we couldn’t find another two.”

A trip to The Festival might be next on the agenda for Green Book but after that a return to the Flat beckons for the gelded son of Authorized with a tilt at the Chester Cup in May identified as a potential target. 

She added: “We might have a run in between now and Cheltenham and we will probably also take him back to Chester afterwards. 

“We won the Chester Plate the year before last with him and last year we won it with Bellatrixsa, who finished third in the Towton at Wetherby. 

“He would be borderline to get in the Chester Cup. We didn’t go last year as he had quite a busy time over hurdles.”