Russell sweet on Percy’s future

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Davy Russell is confident that Cheltenham Festival winner Presenting Percy has a big future ahead over fences following a winning start at Galway.

The six-year-old provided trainer Pat Kelly with a second successive victory in the Pertemps Final back in March, with Russell on board for what an impressive sweeping move from back to front to take the hugely competitive Listed three-mile handicap.

Presenting Percy is off chasing this term and he made the perfect introduction when scoring in heavy ground at Galway over just short of three-miles, coming home ahead of De Plotting Shed.

Russell felt Presenting Percy did things very nicely at the Ballybrit track, admitting it felt impressive from his vantage point.

“He’s a lovely horse, I really like him, and he’s a horse with lot of ability. He’s a 159-rated hurdler and he jumps fences really, really well,” said the Cork man.

“He took really well to jumping a fence and was a joy to ride. He’s versatile trip-wise. I’d say Pat wouldn’t really want to be emptying him on very testing ground.”

Presenting Percy is 11/1 to double up his tally at the Cheltenham Festival by landing the RSA Chase over three-miles in March.

Alan King’s Yanworth, successful on his chasing bow at Exeter in impressive fashion, is 11/1 for the RSA while Ben Pauling’s Neptune hero Willoughby Court is 14/1 for the festival contest having made a sketchy but ultimately winning start over fences at Huntingdon on Sunday.

Elaborating on his Galway win, Russell was very enthusiastic and felt the manner of the win bodes well for the season ahead, with Presenting Percy’s apparent fondness for a stiff finish a real asset.

“He’s not over-big, not that robust and not your typical chaser, but he does have a lot of ability and is a gorgeous horse,” he added.

“Going down into the dip in Galway, he’d put in a fantastic round of jumping, and he took a big heave. I said then ‘we’ve done things really, really nice’.

“He was very good at the second-last and then winged the last. He really attacked the hill.”

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