Past Winners » Presenting Percy


(Message of 2nd November 2017)

Time for our second bet for the Cheltenham Festival: Presenting Percy for the RSA Chase.

Pat Kelly’s horse was very good in winning his beginners’ chase at Galway on Monday.  He travelled well, his jumping was really good for a debutant, he showed nice pace in the Dip to move up on the outside of De Plotting Shed, and the stayed on powerfully up the hill to post an emphatic victory.

That race is often a top notch beginners’ chase, it has been won in the past by China Rock, Last Instalment, Jessies Dream, Lyreen Legend and Don Cossack.  And this year’s renewal looked particularly strong, with De Plotting Shed, Sutton Manor, Free Expression and Presenting Percy’s stable companion Mall Dini all in opposition.  The winning time was not fast, but they didn’t go a great gallop and, actually, the slow early pace should have been more a negative than a positive for Presenting Percy, given how well he stays.

There is no telling how high the Sir Percy gelding could go now.  He was a really progressive novice hurdler last season, he won at Galway and Listowel over two miles before running big races in two big three-mile handicap hurdles.  Then he dropped down to two and a half at Fairyhouse in February and, in a first-time tongue-tie, won another handicap hurdle easily off a mark of 130.

He raced off a mark of 146 in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival, a massive 16lb higher than his Fairyhouse mark, but it didn’t matter, he won that too, staying on really well up the hill to go clear.

That performance proved that he could thrive at Cheltenham and under Cheltenham Festival conditions, and that he could stay on up the hill and that he could do it all on good ground.  His trainer only has a handful of horses, but he had already demonstrated that he could prepare a horse for a big day at Cheltenham when he won the same Pertemps Final the previous year with Mall Dini.

Presenting Percy is only six, he has raced just 12 times in his life and just once over fences, so he has lots of scope to progress now as the season develops.  You know that he will be targeted at Cheltenham, as long as he is healthy and well, by a man who has top form in that department, and you have to think that the RSA Chase is the race for him at Cheltenham.  He has class and he has pace and he stays three miles well, and the fact that he has Cheltenham Festival form is a massive bonus.

His hurdles rating of 156 leaves him with a little bit to find with Yanworth, who is at the top of the RSA Chase market.  But Presenting Percy has the potential to go well beyond his hurdles mark over fences, and it is worth backing him now for the RSA Chase at 16/1.