REYNOLDS IN RAPTURE WITH PRESENTING PERCY
The well supported 5/2 favourite Presenting Percy recorded back-to-back victories at the Cheltenham Festival with a facile victory in the G1 RSA Chase.
Trained by Patrick Kelly, the seven-year-old son of Sir Percy was confidently ridden towards the back of the field by Davy Russell, before making steady headway approaching the home straight.
A superb leap at the last sealed victory for Presenting Percy, who went on to score by seven lengths from Henry de Bromhead's Monalee (10/3) in second.
Elegant Escape (9/1), trained by Colin Tizzard, was a further seven lengths back in third.
Winning owner Philip Reynolds, registering his third victory at The Festival following Mall Dini (2016 Pertemps Network Final) and Presenting Percy (2017 Pertemps Network Final), said: "I am actually speechless. "I was hoping that Presenting Percy was a Graded horse and was so thrilled for him when we won the Galmoy at Gowran Park because he has got a bit of a slagging about being a handicap horse.
"I knew that he was a Graded horse but, to come here and do what he did, is mind-blowing. It means so much to me, it's incredible and I am in pieces.
"You need to be really, really tough to win an RSA and you need to stay more than three miles. Pat wanted to get to the bottom of both those. He wanted to know if he stayed more than three miles, which is why he ran in the Porterstown, and he also wanted to know that he could be tough, which is why we ran him in open company twice.
"Pat Kelly [trainer] is an absolute genius. Davy Russell had a very, very hard decision to make. He could have ridden Monalee and the two of them were lying up upside each other coming to the last. I owe my life to those two guys and it's fantastic."
Presenting Percy is 8/1 with Betway for the 2019 G1 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
2.10pm RSA Insurance Novices' Chase (Grade 1)
1 PRESENTING PERCY (Philip Reynolds) Patrick Kelly IRE 7-11-04 Davy Russell 5/2 fav
2 MONALEE (Barry Maloney) Henry de Bromhead IRE 7-11-04 Noel Fehily 100/30
3 ELEGANT ESCAPE (J Romans) Colin Tizzard 6-11-04 Harry Cobden 9/1
Distances: 7, 7
Tote Win: £3.00 Places: £1.40, £1.50, £2.20 Exacta: £10.80
Patrick Kelly - 3rd winner at The Festival
Davy Russell - 19th winner at The Festival
BetBright Cup - standings after nine races
RUSSELL IS PRESENT AND CORRECT
Presenting Percy's victory in the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase was a 19th Festival win for jockey Davy Russell. Trained by Patrick Kelly, Presenting Percy was the 5/2 favourite for the Grade One contest. He beat Monalee by seven lengths.
Russell said: "I have underestimated this horse all along. I felt he had to prove it. He has now and he's the Grade One winner we hoped he would be. People have really latched on to him. He was unimpressive to me, but by God he is some horse. All credit goes to [owner] Philip Reynolds and Pat Kelly - what a master. The man is training in Co Galway and nobody recognises the small man, yet he has gone and broke through. He is a brilliant trainer.
"Pat does everything - I've never schooled the horse. I've never sat on him apart from on the racecourse. I've nothing to do with it - it's all him. What a route to take to the RSA - one graded race over fences.
"Mum was the most outstanding mum. She reared six kids and a business along with my dad. They will be in floods of tears at home. She was a great woman.
"Every Cheltenham winner is special and to get another is fantastic. We will enjoy this success before thinking about what Presenting Percy's future targets will be."
WALSH STOOD DOWN FOR THE REST OF THE DAY
Ruby Walsh, whose mount, Al Boum Photo, came down at the second-last fence, has been stood down by the doctor for the rest of the day. The horse rolled on Walsh, who was down on the ground for a while. He was then supported into the ambulance by his father Ted and his sister Katie. He has been taken to Gloucester Royal Hospital for X-rays concerning a possible injury to his right leg.
Walsh returned to race-riding last week after spending four months on the sidelines with a broken leg.
Amateur jockey Patrick Mullins will take the ride on Douvan - trained by Patrick's father Willie - in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
MONALEE SECOND FOR THE SECOND YEAR
Monalee, who was second in the G1 Albert Bartlet Novices' Hurdle twelve months ago, followed up this year with a second to a rising star in Presenting Percy in the G1 RSA Insurance Novices' Chase.
Monalee, a seven-year-old Milan gelding who was sent off at 100/30, is trained by Henry de Bromhead, and came home seven lengths adrift of the 5/2 favourite and winner Presenting Percy, but delighted his trainer none-the-less
De Bromhead, said: "He ran a cracker and I am delighted with him, though it is obviously disappointing not to win.
"We think he is a very good horse - but the winner is as well.
"Fair play to the lads (Patrick Kelly, trainer and Philip Reynolds, Owner), I am delighted for them, if we couldn't win it I am delighted they could.
"Possibly if he had switched off a little bit more - but I don't think it would have made any difference to the result.
"I would like him to switch off a little more but he will learn to do that.
"We are very happy... well happy at least."
Noel Fehily added: "I think he ran an absolute stormer. We were beaten by a very good horse."