Galway Turn Fences For Presenting Percy's Final Prep

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GALWAY TURN FENCES FOR PRESENTING PERCY'S FINAL PREP

Presenting Percy's controversial Cheltenham Festival preparation took yet another twist on Saturday afternoon, as Galway Racecourse rearranged their fences to shape similarly to what the 8yo can expect in just under two weeks time when he heads to the Gold Cup.

The Ballybrit venue in Ireland - known to be a right handed track, flipped its fences especially for the Philip Reynolds-owned gelding to receive some valuable practice and schooling left-handed, over obstacles he is yet to jump in public this season.

Should last year's stylish winner of the RSA Novices Chase prevail in this year's Grand Feature, he would in fact become the first horse to win the race without a run over fences that season, since Easter Hero did so ninety years ago.

He has only been seen once this season, and that was his long-awaited return to the track at Gowran Park back in January in the Galmoy Hurdle - a contest he won twelve months ago before succeeding at the Festival.

His victory in the RSA was one of the standout performances of the week, thumping Monalee - who is now very much a market principle in the Ryanair Chase this time around.

Owner Reynolds revealed it was in fact a second trip to the track in the last fortnight, and hopes the outings have put Presenting Percy 'spot-on' for the Gold Cup.

(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "Fair play to Michael Moloney [racecourse manager] and the whole crew as they've facilitated us twice now. We were there last week and we were there today and all went well. Willie McMahon, who rides him in all of his work, was aboard again and he was happy.

"The whole crew at Galway did a great job in getting the fences out and, as everyone has seen, they put them going left-handed for us.

"They also put them going down the dip rather than going up it, so bar going over to Prestbury Park and jumping a few in anger, we couldn't have done much more.

"But that's the Tribesmen [Galway natives] for you. When the chips are down they pull together. Win, lose or draw we'll be down in Galway after the Gold Cup," he said.

Galway Twitter
(Credir Galway Races)

Reynolds also added that trainer Pat Kelly - a man you hardly see or hear from, could not be happier with his stable-star's rehearsals.

He said: "Pat is extremely happy with him and he worked with Mall Dini this morning, who's not a bad yardstick. We're delighted with him.

"Fingers crossed he'll be okay in the morning and for the next fortnight. Trying to keep him right is the challenge now."

With Galway's obstacles stacked away for the winter, it took a big effort from the Galway groundstaff to get the fences turned and railings set in place, for the locally trained Percy. 

Efforts however that were deemed worthwhile, according to racecourse manager Moloney.

He said: "It's great for Galway to have a horse heading for the Gold Cup and the whole County is behind them all to make the best of it.

"It's nice to be able to provide a little bit of help along that journey.

"Hopefully, come Friday week, everybody will be celebrating in the west of Ireland," he finished.

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