Presenting Percy The Headline Name In 19 Runner John Durkan Chase Declaration

Cheltenham Gold Cup fancy Presenting Percy is set to make is seasonal debut on Sunday when looking to take the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown.

The Davy Russell ridden seven year old has not been seen yet this season and the last time he was on a racecourse was when he was going on to score for the second time at the Cheltenham festival in the RSA Novices Chase in March.

The Pat Kelly trained gelding loves it at jumps racing HQ and is currently before even running this season a general 5/1 to land a hat trick at the festival in the big one on the Friday.

His owner Philip Reynolds is very much looking forward to seeing his horse get back out on to the track with the work he does in the lead up to the festival going to make up his mind what race the horse will go in.

(Credit At The Races) The owner said: All being well with Presenting Percy this week, the John Durkan at Punchestown on Sunday is where he is heading.

“He has been really, really well and I think Pat (Kelly) would have had plans to start him before now, but the dry ground scuppered any other plans that he had.

“The John Durkan is a nice starting point for him and if it did rain this week, two and a half miles around Punchestown can be like the best part of three miles on a flatter track.”

This Grade 1 currently has 19 runners set to go post that will be sure to be shortened down before the 20th running of this race.

Willie Mullins always brings a strong team to this meeting and has won it three of the last five renewals. He could possibly field a strong seven pronged attack with numerous big names.

Punchestown Gold Cup star Bellshill leads the line with Nine time Grade 1 winner Un De Sceaux a strong fancy and Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase winner Kemboy also a strong fancy. The rest of the Mullins runners are made up by Min, Al Boum Photo, Black Hercules and Invitation Only.

Mullins rival trainer Gordon Elliott could also pose a seven strong attack with the most realistic of horses to run in the way of Shattered Love who won the JLT Novices Chase at the festival last season.

The Gigginstown trainer is looking forward to seeing his JLT star after a good reappearance second at Down Royal behind Snow falcon trained by Noel Meade.

(Credit ATR) The trainer said: “She might run in the John Durkan. She’s a good mare and I was happy with her first run back in Down Royal. She would have come on a lot for the run.

“Her next run will tell us what road we go. I think she is a mare that could run well in a Gold Cup.”

A Toi Phil, Alpha Des Obeaux, Doctor Phoenix, Don Poli, Outlander and The Storyteller complete Elliott’s potentials for the Grade 1.

Henry De Bromhead's Ryanair Chase victor at Cheltenham Balko Des Flos, Irish Gold Cup winner Edwulf for Joseph O'Brien, Disko for Noel Meade and Cheltenham Gold Cup third Anibale Fly make up the rest of the potential cast of runners.

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