It was with much sadness that the news of Presenting Percy’s death was announced late on Thursday.
The ten-year-old, a two-time Cheltenham Festival winner, contracted a rare blood infection, and after a three-month battle it was decided to euthanise the horse at his yard in Tipperary.
The game old stayer loved a battle, and those qualities were in evidence abundantly in his two wins at the Cheltenham Festival – first in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle, where he asserted his dominance as an 11/1 winner back in 2017, and again 12 months later in the RSA Chase, where he was so impressive in downing a quality field that included future Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo and Monalee.
Presenting Percy was owned by Phillip Reynolds, who was left devastated by his star’s tragic passing.
“I know it’s a cliche to say racing is a game of highs and lows, and we’ve had our share of both, but on days like this it makes you wonder if the highs are high enough,” he contemplated.
“Percy was a special athlete with a personality all of his own. He took us places we dreamt of, and we always looked forward to having him with us during his downtime.
“The horse of my lifetime – and my honour to have been called his owner.”
Meanwhile Davy Russell, who was on board for both of those Cheltenham victories, simply tweeted a picture of himself with Presenting Percy, writing ‘Oh I loved him dearly.’
Oh I loved him dearly pic.twitter.com/psmdb8hSJH
— Davy Russell (@_Davy_Russel_) April 16, 2021
Three of the Best from Presenting Percy
With eleven wins from 26 starts, Presenting Percy made more than £350,000 in prize money for his connections.
His first major payday came in that Pertemps Handicap Hurdle at the 2017 edition of the Festival, a victory which he had only hinted at with a couple of low-key wins on Irish soil. A sluggish start to the three-miler hardly boosted aspirations, but the-then six-year-old – carrying top weight – powered through the field and showed his class, going clear at the last and getting stronger as he approached the line.
A so-so end to the 2017 season left Reynolds and company scratching their heads, but Presenting Percy got 2018 off to the best possible start with an excellent run in the Galmoy Hurdle.
There were some good horses in the field that day at Gowran Park, including Augusta Kate and Alpha Des Obeaux, but Percy blew them all aside. He took a stranglehold on the race at the mid-point and never relinquished his lead. The Cheltenham double was on.
And that second Festival victory would arrive in astonishing fashion. Percy just had an outstanding ability to assert himself in the second half of races, and he did so once again in the RSA Chase when hunting down Monalee and Elegant Escape, powering clear at the last to canter home by seven lengths.
The Gold Cup victory that many predicted never followed, but Presenting Percy gave his followers plenty to cheer and celebrate in a fantastic career.
|28th Dec 2020||Leopardstown||Savills Chase||Grade 1||8/14||–|
|19th Nov 2020||Thurles||Boomerang.ie Chase||Listed||1/4||€13k|
|31st Oct 2020||Down Royal||Ladbrokes Champion Chase||Grade 1||1/9||€74k|
|13th Mar 2020||Cheltenham||Gold Cup||Grade 1||Fell||–|
|2nd Feb 2020||Leopardstown||Irish Gold Cup||Grade 1||3/8||€23k|
|28th Dec 2019||Leopardstown||Savills Chase||Grade 1||5/8||€3.5k|
|8th Dec 2019||Punchestown||John Durkan Memorial Chase||Grade 1||3/9||€8k|
|15th Mar 2019||Cheltenham||Gold Cup||Grade 1||8/16||£2k|
|24th Jan 2019||Gowran Park||Galmoy Hurdle||Grade 2||1/11||€26.5k|
|14th Mar 2018||Cheltenham||RSA Chase||Grade 1||1/10||£100k|
|17th Feb 2018||Gowran Park||Red Mills Chase||Grade 2||2/5||€8.5k|
|25th Jan 2018||Gowran Park||Galmoy Hurdle||Grade 2||1/7||€26.5k|
|3rd Dec 2017||Fairyhouse||Porterstown Handicap||Grade B||1/14||€29.5k|
|19th Nov 2017||Punchestown||Florida Pearl Chase||Grade 2||3/5||€26k|
|30th Oct 2017||Galway||Beginners Chase||–||1/8||€12k|
|26th Apr 2017||Punchestown||Novice Hurdle||Grade 1||6/8||€1k|
|16th Mar 2017||Cheltenham||Pertemps Final||Listed||1/24||£54k|
|25th Feb 2017||Fairyhouse||Handicap Hurdle||–||1/10||€16k|
|5th Feb 2017||Punchestown||Handicap Hurdle||–||4/20||€1k|
|28th Dec 2016||Leopardstown||Handicap Hurdle||–||5/25||€0.4k|
|19th Nov 2016||Punchestown||Handicap Hurdle||–||1/7||€10k|
|30th Oct 2016||Galway||Maiden Hurdle||–||1/13||€8k|
|11th Oct 2016||Galway||Maiden Hurdle||–||4/12||€0.5k|
|27th Apr 2016||Punchestown||INH Flat Race||Grade 1||7/11||–|
|15th Apr 2016||Ballinrobe||Flat race||–||1/6||€6k|
|31st Jan 2016||Punchestown||INH Flat Race||–||2/12||€1.5k|