Presenting Percy will not run in Sunday’s John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase as trainer Pat Kelly revises his plans. Presenting Percy is the ante-post Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite for 2019 and had been expected to be given his seasonal bow at Punchestown this weekend.
However, the current RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase champion has not made the list of the final five for Sunday’s Grade One race and reports say the talented the seven-year-old may not even run before Christmas.
Henry de Bromhead’s Balko Des Flos, who also won at Cheltenham in March when coming out on top in the Ryanair Chase, is expected to be a leading contender in the John Durkan,although he will have to improve after a shock fourth-place finish in the recent JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.
Willie Mullins’ Min gets his first run of the season, while Gordon Elliott has two in the mix in the shape of The Storyteller and Shattered Love – the latter hoping to emulate his winning form from the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham. Irish Gold Cup winner Edwulf completes the five-strong line-up.