Presenting Percy Only 50/50 To Have Run Before Cheltenham

Cheltenham Gold Cup Favourite Presenting Percy has only had one prep run over hurdles this season and has an entry this Saturday at Fairyhouse but how likely is he to actually run?

The Grade 3 BobbyJo Chase is the race that the Pat Kelly trained eight year old could run in on the weekend but his owner Phillip Reynolds has said he only has a "50/50" chance of actually running before the festival.

This has caused huge debate in the racing world as last week week he was all set to have his first run over fences before the Grade 1 Magners Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival but again was pulled out without explanation.

He was set to run at Gowran Park in the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase, which he did the same last year before bolting up at Prestbury Park in the RSA chase.

Gowran was also the scene of his seasonal debut in the John Mulhern Galmoy Grade 2 Hurdle where he won in could style, digging in towards the line to land the contest.

That run over hurdles did shorten his odds to 5/2 in places for the big one in March but all racing punters were expecting him to have at least one run over fences before the Gold Cup but this might not be the case anymore, which seems outrageous.

If he does not run this weekend it is thought that he will be saved then until the festival and the only reason why he would not run this weekend is due to the ground conditions not being to his optimum standard.

(Credit Racing Post) His owner said: "Presenting Percy is in great form. I saw him at the weekend and he's absolutely terrific.

"We could have run him last weekend in the Red Mills Chase and we could run him this weekend in the BobbyJo – every bit of rain which we're getting at the moment helps.

"The intention after winning the Galmoy was to run in the Red Mills as that was the same route he took last year before [winning] the RSA.

"Pat [Kelly] had him in as good a shape as he wanted him to be. I don't want to say anything negative about the ground, but they were going to be jumping out of ground used two weeks earlier, and the ground at Gowran was as bad as we've had in Ireland all year.

"As we've sat and sat all year waiting to get him out, we didn't want to risk him."

Reynolds added: "Pat and I aren't going to have many opportunities to win a Gold Cup, so we just have to be extra careful.

"We're promised rain this week, so we're going to keep the race on Saturday under review. There are 11 entries and it would be nice to get him out again in a small field to try to minimise as much risk as possible.

"I'd say it's 50-50 him running on Saturday. Hopefully he will."