Presenting Percy was the John Durkan eye-catcher
Presenting Percy had a question to answer on his reappearance in the John Durkan having been pulled up lame when sent off favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup on his only start over fences last season.
However, he shaped really well at Punchestown on Sunday to finish third behind Min in a steadily-run race which didn’t play to the strengths of a horse with so much stamina. That was just Presenting Percy’s seventh start over fences and there’s every chance we’ve yet to see the best of the impressive 2018 RSA Chase winner.
He is a genuine Gold Cup contender and will be a big player in any staying chase he contests this season.
Cilaos Emery a top-notch prospect
Willie Mullins already had an incredible team of two-mile chasers with Chacun Pour Soi, Min, Un de Sceaux and Douvan among his ranks.
However, Cilaos Emery should also be considered a serious contender for top honours this season after posting a career-best performance in the Hilly Way at Cork on Sunday. It was only a three-runner affair, but you had to be impressed by how Cilaos Emery brushed aside Ballyoisin to extend his unbeaten record over fences to three.
Cilaos Emery loomed up on the bridle on the approach to the straight before jumping on at the third-last, at which point he had matters firmly under control.
That was a top-class effort – one which puts him near the top of the tree in the two-mile division – and, still unexposed, he may be capable of better still.
Wolverhampton winner Waldkonig is one to note
John Gosden is not averse to introducing an excellent prospect on the all-weather – think of Enable and Jack Hobbs, for example – and Waldkonig looks one to watch out for next season after making a highly-impressive debut at Wolverhampton on Saturday.
As a son of Kingman and a half-brother to Arc winner Waldgeist, Waldkonig stood out on paper and he produced a performance of rare merit on debut, looking right out of the top drawer as he motored clear down the straight to register a nine-length win.
There was plenty of substance to the performance – he recorded a notably fast closing sectional – and he is one to be excited about.