Politeo: must give weight to the last two winners, Martalin and Royal FouPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Williams and Reveley chase Waregem Crystal
Preview: Belgium, Tuesday (3.4opm BST)
Waregem: ING Grand Steeple-Chase des Flandres (Cross-Country Chase) 2m7f, 6yo+
NICK WILLIAMS will continue his pan-European quest for a second Crystal Cup title when saddling Politeo in the biggest race on Belgium's sole jumping card of the season.
The handicapper has taken no chances with James Reveley's mount, who must give weight to the last two winners of the race - Martalin and Royal Fou.
"It's about the only Crystal Cup race we haven't run in before," admitted Williams. "It's a tight, right-handed speed track which should be about right for him as he's run well at Kempton and Ascot. We've schooled him over cross-country-type jumps and I expect him to run a decent race. But it'll be fast and furious."
Williams is currently four points clear at the top of the Crystal Cup standings and will be attempting to add to his tally next month when the competition hits top gear again following its summer break.
"Maljimar is due to go to Merano [in Italy] on September 27 and Shalimar Fromentro will be running at Craon [Western France] on September 8."
Of more immediate concern on Tuesday will be the three runners fielded by race-specialist Patrice Quinton.
Last year Martalin (Jerome Zuliani) took advantage of the fall of the front-running veteran Pop Island (Arnaud Chaille-Chaille/Maxime Le Galliard) to score, while Quinton also lifted the prize two years ago with Royal Fou (Jordan Duchene), whom he describes as being at "200%" for the race.
Quinton's third runner Puncho (Jessy Blandamour) has finished in the money in each of the last two years and, although now 10 years old, shares bottom-weight.