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Reynolds hopes Russell stays loyal to 'Percy'

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Having come home lame when going off favourite in last year’s blue riband, Philip Reynolds has put a line through that display and hopes that he bounces back at the Cotswolds (stock photo)

Having come home lame when going off favourite in last year’s blue riband, Philip Reynolds has put a line through that display and hopes that he bounces back at the Cotswolds (stock photo)

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Having come home lame when going off favourite in last year’s blue riband, Philip Reynolds has put a line through that display and hopes that he bounces back at the Cotswolds (stock photo)

Owner Philip Reynolds is confident Davy Russell will maintain his fruitful partnership with Presenting Percy and not switch allegiances to Gigginstown's Delta Work in next month's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Things haven't quite gone to plan for the Pat Kelly-trained Presenting Percy this season with three respectable efforts in defeat - the latest two reversals seeing him chase home Delta Work - but Russell was aboard when the nine-year-old scored at the 2017 and '18 festivals.

Jack Kennedy was in the plate when Delta Work landed the Irish Gold Cup earlier this month but with the Kerry native subsequently breaking his leg and out for the rest of the season, many predict that Russell will make the switch to the seven-year-old.

Reynolds has been given no indication that Russell will give up the ride on Kelly's nine-year-old however, despite Delta Work (5/1) trading at half the odds of Presenting Percy.

"I've spoken to Davy since the Irish Gold Cup and there was no suggestion there would be a change of riding arrangements. I don't expect there to be a change, but I'm not the one who would ultimately make the decision," Reynolds said.

"In my opinion, Davy is the best jump jockey there is around the chase course at Cheltenham and he knows that I wouldn't swap him for anyone else. I'll be keeping my fingers and legs crossed for Davy as much as I will for 'Percy'.

"We have a very good relationship and if he was going to switch, I'm sure he wouldn't leave it until the last minute to let us know. I'm sure if it is put to Davy (offered the ride on Delta Work), it will be a difficult decision.

"If you look at the ante-post lists for Cheltenham, there are a lot of horses wearing the maroon and white silks (of Gigginstown) towards the top."

Having come home lame when going off favourite in last year's blue riband, Reynolds has put a line through that display and hopes that he bounces back at the Cotswolds.

"We have to hope that once he arrives in Cheltenham and breathes in that Cotswolds air that he remembers where he is and can find that bit of improvement that he needs to find," Reynolds said.

Meanwhile, brilliant 2018 Arkle winner Footpad will not run at Cheltenham this year having switched from Willie Mullins' yard to the US after being sold to American owners.

Irish Independent