Gold Cup fancy Percy primed to reappear in John Durkan; 'Presenting Percy looks terrific - it's so exciting'.
Byline: Brian Sheerin
g y n in the Grade 1 John e at Punchestown next ng to owner s. gs really do who wait, expected ng Percy is PRESENTING PERCY, last season's brilliant RSA Novices' Chase winner and leading Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup fancy, is on course to make his eagerly awaited retur Durkan Chase month, accordi Philip Reynold If good thing come to those w a lot can be e from Presentin this season as hi connections h a v e b e e n forced to sit on their hands du to the unseaso quick ground.
ue nably A best-priced 6-1 chance for the Gold Cup, Presenting Percy has not been sighted since his win at Cheltenham in March, but he had his first workout on grass at Pat Kelly's Galway base during the week as he builds towards his ed comeback on r 9. ds (pictured) said: nt back three, nearly s earlier than he did ar with the thinking ng that we were going be aiming him at the rade 3 Irish Daily Star hase at Punchestown October before a tilt t the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal. But vvContinues page 3 anticipat December Reynol "Percy wen four week last yea bein to b Gr Ch inaCD v vvFrom front page the ground obviously wasn't in our favour so we decided to swerve those targets.
"Like most horses, he's done very little on grass and, in fact, this was his first week out on grass at Pat's.
"We've had to have a rethink and, all being well, I'd say he's going to have to go for the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown, not that he's got the best track record there, but we have to start somewhere."
Reynolds was hoping to start Presenting Percy in the Clonmel Oil Chase, but he said it came too soon and the John Durkan fitted in better.
He said: "I was hoping that we could start somewhere other than in a Grade 1 but there aren't too many options. When you're starting at this sort of level you want to be fairly right, hence why we brought him back that little bit early. We just didn't account for the weather!
"He had nearly two runs under his belt this time last year so that tells you where we are. We'll just have to try to build him up for the John Durkan now."
After a superb win under Davy Russell in t he RSA Chase, connections opted to swerve the Punchestown festival, stating they wanted to give the seven-year-old the best possible chance of becoming a Gold Cup horse. Now Reynolds is eager to find out if his crack chaser has progressed as hoped.
"To be even talking about having a Gold Cup horse is unreal but he'll have to improve about a stone to be talked about for the Gold Cup, really," he said.
"That's why I'd have loved to see him out by now - I just can't wait to see how he is this year and if he's progressed. I think he has, Pat sent me a video of him on Wednesday and I have to say he looked great. He really does look terrific - it's so exciting.
"The John Durkan won't be run over his track or trip, and while we won't be bursting him to make sure he wins, we'll be hoping he can run well there and maybe we'd look at Leopardstown at Christmas after that.
"We can't wait to get him started. It's a really exciting time of year, not just for me, but for every racing fan."