Presenting Percy immediately became a strong contender for the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup following his impressive victory in the RSA Chase at the Festival last year where he blew away his rivals in the novice contest over three miles, with fans and bettors keeping a close eye.
Patrick Kelly’s runner won three of his five races last season to end the campaign as the leading chaser in the novice division. He will be bidding to become the first horse since Lord Windermere in 2014 to win the RSA Chase and the Gold Cup in back-to-back years.
There was a concern for backers of Presenting Percy at the back of 2018 as connections felt he was not ready to appear in the opening few months of the 2018/19 campaign. Unlike many of his Gold Cup rivals for the 3m2f contest, he was unable to run in the Lancashire Chase at Haydock or the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) January 24, 2019
The Irish horse finally made his seasonal reappearance earlier this month where he defended his crown by prevailing in the Grade Two Galmoy Hurdle. Although that 3m race was over hurdles and not fences, it was great to see the eight-year-old fit and healthy again and it resulted in the bookmakers slashing his odds for the most prestigious race in National Hunt racing.
Presenting Percy can now be backed at 3/1 for Gold Cup glory in March. Before placing your bet it is worth finding out all you need to know about Cheltenham Betting this season, including who is offering non-runner no bet and what are the best offers available today. The RSA Chase winner could be a lot shorter in the betting on the day of the race. Therefore, it might be wise to snap up his odds now.
Kelly has revealed his horse’s next task may be the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park in February. That will be his first look at fences in a competitive race this season. Presenting Percy was second in the contest last year where he finished a length behind Our Duke. He is sure to be the favourite to go one better this time around.
Native River Leads The Challenge Against Presenting Percy
The nearest challenger to Presenting Percy in the Gold Cup betting is last year’s winner Native River. Colin Tizzard’s runner is yet to score in the 2018/19 campaign as he was second at Haydock in the opening leg of the Chase Triple Crown. He was then third in King George.
? Looks Like Trouble
? Native River
— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) March 16, 2018
The former Hennessy Gold Cup and Welsh Grand National winner virtually made all in last season’s Blue Riband contest where he proved his stamina in tough conditions at the Gloucestershire track to hold off the challenge of Might Bite up the hill to the finish line.
Native River is set to appear one last time before the Festival when he lines up in the Denman Chase next month. He prevailed in that race in 2018 and if he is successful again, his odds of 11/2 may be trimmed slightly by the oddsmakers.
As always, the Gold Cup should be a fascinating race as the young take on the old and on this occasion, it is the youth of Presenting Percy which should be favoured.