Will Presenting Percy be trained for the Cheltenham Gold Cup or the Grand National in 2021?
The winner of the Pertemps Network Final in 2017 and the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase in 2018, Presenting Percy appeared, at one stage of his career, a bona fide Cheltenham Gold Cup contender. Indeed, despite having raced just once, over hurdles, in the interim, he was sent off a well-backed 100/30 favourite for the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup. However, on that occasion, he was never travelling and trailed in eighth of nine finishers, beaten 33 lengths, behind Al Boum Photo. In his defence, he was subsequently found to be lame on his right hind leg.
In the 2020 renewal of the Gold Cup he was staying on in seventh place when falling at the second last and did not win again until November, 2020, by which time he had been transferred to Gordon Elliott from Patrick Kelly. That victory, in a four-runner Listed chase at Thurles may have proved something of a ‘false dawn’, because Presenting Percy was put firmly in his place when beaten the proverbial ‘country mile’ or 76 lengths, to be exact, on his return to Grade One company in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.
Interestingly, at the time of writing, Presenting Percy can be backed at 40/1 ante post for the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but just33/1 for the 2021 Grand National. Elliott has reportedly had the National in the back of his mind since acquiring the ten-year-old in October, 2020 and, as he rightly pointed out, Presenting Percy could be sent off at much shorter odds if he lines up at Aintree. His attitude may have been questioned in the past, but the son of Sir Percy is a classy individual, who is versatile ground-wise, stays at least 3 miles 5 furlongs, travels and jumps, so Elliott might just be onto something.