Monday 21 October 2019

Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy swerves Bobbyjo Chase and heads straight to Cheltenham

Cheltenham star Presenting Percy ridden by Davy Russell
Cheltenham star Presenting Percy ridden by Davy Russell
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy will head straight to next month's Cheltenham Festival after being scratched from tomorrow's Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse.

Owner Philip Reynolds had rated it "50-50" whether last year's impressive RSA Chase winner would take in the Fairyhouse feature as his final preparation before the blue riband but Galway trainer Pat Kelly has opted against another run.

The eight-year-old has only been seen once on the racecourse this season with the unsuitably dry weather meaning that last month's Grade Two Galmoy Hurdle win at Gowran Park completes his unconventional Cheltenham preparation.

A general 11/4 shot to land the Gold Cup on March 15 and his third Festival win in succession, Presenting Percy will make history if he does so as Kelly's star chaser hasn't jumped a fence in public all season.

Davy Russell's mount will carry a huge weight of Irish expectancy, however, as he bids to outgun Colin Tizzard's reigning champion Native River while Willie Mullins looks set to make a four-pronged attack on a first Gold Cup victory with Savills Chase winner Kemboy, Irish Gold Cup hero Bellshill, Thyestes chase victor Invitation Only and Al Boum Photo.  

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