The owner of Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy insists he has no concerns about the horse lining up in steeplechasing's Blue Riband without having run over fences in a year.
With just three weeks to the Gold Cup, Philip Reynolds took the decision not to risk his star performer in today's Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse.
Trainer Pat Kelly walked the track on Thursday evening and was happy with ground conditions even though selective watering had been taking place.
“Pat was happy with the ground. The stick went in and he was happy to go or not go. He left it up to me. I thought about it and as patient as we’ve been I didn’t want to risk it for the sake of three weeks,” Reynolds said yesterday.
“The plan next is for him to do lots of schooling. Yeah, he won’t have been in the heat of battle but I’ve no concern he won’t have jumped a fence in anger. I have no doubt Pat will have his eye well in. I may live to regret this but I’d regret it more if we took a chance and something went wrong and he couldn’t show up in three weeks. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s the right thing to do.”
Presenting Percy’s sole appearance since winning last year’s RSA at Cheltenham came when he landed the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran last month.
Unseasonably quick ground had previously meant he skipped intended outings over fences in the John Durkan Chase, the Savills Chase and the Red Mills Chase earlier this month.
In other news, today the veteran Raz de Maree and ‘Shark’ Hanlon’s Kilkishen will be the Irish contenders in Newcastle’s four-mile Eider Chase.
Danny Mullins teams up with the Hanlon runner while the 14 year old former Welsh National winner Rax De Maree will be ridden by claimer, Conor Orr.