Percy team eyeing Punchestown return

John Durkan a possible target for beaten Gold Cup favourite

  • Saturday 07 September
  • News
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Owner Philip Reynolds has mooted the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown as a possible starting point for Presenting Percy.

The eight-year-old was sent off favourite for the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March but having had only one previous outing over hurdles, he could only finish eighth.

Problems were subsequently found which prevented him from running again, but all those have now been resolved.

Reynolds told the Irish Field: “It’s a case of so far, so good. Pat (Kelly, trainer) and Jerry Kelly (vet) are happy with him and once they are happy that’ll do me.

“He had a small procedure to remove fluid from his back and I don’t know if that had anything to do with how he ran at Cheltenham. We also found he had bone bruising post Cheltenham.

“He is starting off the season just like everybody else and the reality is that he might just be “another horse”.

“This time last year I couldn’t lie straight in bed with excitement. I think the best chance a horse has of winning a Gold Cup is straight after their novice season. Now he will be meeting all of last seasons novices, along with Al Boum Photo, so we’ll just have to see where he fits in.

“It’s a bit early to say where he’ll start back. Hopefully we’ll get started somewhere before Christmas, but everything needs to be right for him.

“Clonmel will come too soon for him, as will Down Royal, so I suppose you could be looking at the John Durkan at Punchestown. Where he might go after that remains to be seen – there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then.

“I just hope we don’t have another winter like last year – the ground was quick all winter and a repeat would be a disaster.”

Percy team eyeing Punchestown return
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