Presenting Percy takes switch to hurdles in his stride at Gowran Park

Thu 25 Jan 2018

Presenting Percy made a successful return to the smaller obstacles with a determined display in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park.

Pat Kelly's seven-year-old won the Pertemps Final at last year's Cheltenham Festival and has won two of his three starts over fences this season, most recently dominating his rivals under top-weight at Fairyhouse in early December.

He was a 9-4 joint-favourite for this Grade Two contest and after travelling powerfully for much of the three-mile journey in the hands of Davy Russell, he hit the front before the home turn.

High-class mare Augusta Kate briefly threatened to make a race of it between the final two flights, but Presenting Percy's stamina kicked in approaching the last and he galloped all the way to the line in the testing conditions to score by five and a half lengths.

Russell said: "He's a lovely horse and all credit has to go to Pat Kelly. He trains half a dozen horses and he's been very good to me."

When asked if he was surprised to see Presenting Percy back over hurdles, Russell added: "I was, I suppose, but nothing that Pat Kelly does is a surprise really. There was reason for it and it didn't worry me.

"His options are open now and we'll leave that to Pat. He's made all the decisions thus far and I'm sure he won't do the wrong thing from here on in."

Reynolds is eyeing a return to Cheltenham in March for a tilt at the RSA Chase, for which he was cut to 4-1 from 5-1 by RaceBets.

He said: "That was super. We thought it was a nice opportunity, to be honest. He was very impressive.

"He hadn't run since December 3, so we needed to get a run into him.

"He's run on that sort of ground before, but you don't want to pull the guts out of a horse and then hope to try to get him to Cheltenham. That's why we said we'd run in a hurdle race rather than a chase, to save the horse a bit.

"He's got to step up now and I think the RSA Chase is made for him."

Augusta Kate was second ahead of Diamond Cauchois in third.

Let's Dance, the other 9-4 joint-favourite, finished a well-beaten fifth.

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