Cheltenham Festival: Is Presenting Percy Set to Romp to Gold Cup Glory?

With less than two months until the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, punters are starting to eye up a few potential ante-post bets on some of the meeting’s biggest races – and they don’t get much bigger than the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Following his victory at Gowran Park on January 24th, Presenting Percy could be the horse to beat come Gold Cup day.

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The likes of Might Bite, Native River and Road To Respect have failed to inspire confidence this season and we could see Presenting Percy cruise to victory in the Festival’s showpiece race. However, it would be foolish to write off Gold Cup rivals Kemboy, Clan Des Obeax and even Thistlecrack. This year’s race has all the makings of a competitive affair.

Presenting Percy already has two Cheltenham Festival wins under his belt and plenty of punters will view that form as solid. His performance in the 2018 RSA Chase was particularly impressive, finishing seven lengths clear of nearest rival Monalee. Since then, Monalee finished a head clear of beaten favourite and Gold Cup contender Road To Respect – further strengthening Presenting Percy’s form line.

According to the latest Paddy Power Cheltenham betting odds, Presenting Percy is priced at 5/2 to go on and win the Gold Cup this year. He looked strong when winning on his first run this season at Gowran Park and that effort may be enough to convince punters to take the ante-post odds ahead of the Festival. A similar performance should see Presenting Percy go close in his pursuit of Gold Cup glory.

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Presenting Percy makes things look so effortless. Cruising towards the final obstacle on his 2019 debut, he looked around at his rivals before pulling away to win by over a length. He didn’t even need to get out of second gear – although critics will rightly remind fans that his latest run was over hurdles and not fences. A run over the larger obstacles could be on the cards in February.

Trainer Pat Kelly is happy with Presenting Percy’s progress and that, along with his effort at Gowran Park, should be enough to convince punters that he deserves his spot as the ante-post Gold Cup favourite. Living up to the hype is not an easy task in horse racing but he is a different beast altogether. In many ways, he's quite similar to 2016 Gold Cup winner Don Cossack – both in terms of style and attitude.

Davy Russell will be quietly confident of leading Presenting Percy to victory once again this year. Indeed, it would be foolish to back against him on current form. Kemboy is one for the future - 2020 could be his year - while Clan Des Obeaux’s stamina will be tested up the gruelling Cheltenham hill. Another thrilling Gold Cup renewal awaits if all of the major players are entered.

Predicting the winner of the Gold Cup is a tough task, but Presenting Percy ticks more boxes than most of his rivals. He stays the trip, has course and distance form and he’s won two different Cheltenham Festival races. As expected, he's currently the clear favourite – it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Presenting Percy back in the Prestbury Park winner’s enclosure in March.