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Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy will not fail on fitness front, insists Davy Russell

Trainer Pat Kelly has wrapped the Cheltenham hopeful in cotton wool.

Davy Russell celebrates winning the the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle with Presenting Percy in January.
Davy Russell celebrates winning the the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle with Presenting Percy in January.

DON’T DOUBT TRAINER Pat Kelly. That is the message from Davy Russell, who says he’ll ride Presenting Percy in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup as if his mount has had 10 runs this season.

The jockey claims fitness or lack of match practice will be no cause for concern.

Russell, who won the Gold Cup on Lord Windermere in 2014, has been on Presenting Percy in 13 of his 15 races, apart from bumpers, and guided him to glory in last year’s RSA Chase. Only trainer Kelly knows the eight-year-old better than his jockey.

Presenting Percy has run only once since winning the RSA, landing the Galmoy Hurdle last month, and attempts to become only the second horse after Easter Hero 90 years ago to land the Gold Cup without having run over fences in the same season.

Asked if he was worried about that situation, Russell replied: “I’m not, no. It’s nothing to do with me anyway but I’m happy. I’ll be going into the race like he’s had 10 runs; it makes no difference to me. He’ll be fit and I’ll ride him the way I usually do. 

“If he’s good enough, he’s good enough, and if he’s not, he’s not. He’s still a young horse and we still have a long season left. There are a lot of prizes to be picked up.”

- Brian Sheerin

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