I suppose on the face of it Kemboy had a bit of a disappointing Christmas when he came fourth at Leopardstown in the Savills Chase, but it looked like he needed the run. If you go back to last year and what he did at Aintree and Punchestown, that’s a different level to what the rest of them are doing.
Delta Work you’d think was a stayer, but the races he’s winning are not that strongly run and he just outsprints the others.
Presenting Percy I just don’t think is good enough to win a race like this or a Gold Cup. If he was mine I’d be getting him to drop a few pounds and aim him at the Grand National. He’s done nothing to suggest he’s as good as Kemboy. I’m pretty sure Kemboy wins this and I hope he does so impressively because he’ll then go clear favourite for the Gold Cup and we’ll then get a better price for Al Boum Photo.
I’d say jumping has never been Kemboy’s strongest point. He’s always had his own way of doing it. He can get quite low and has a tendency to go to his right which won’t be ideal at Leopardstown.
He’s in great form but I’d say BELLSHILL is the wrong price at around 14/1. He won the race last year and will have improved. He’s not that far behind Kemboy and Presenting Percy and I think right now he’s value each/way if you can get that price. If you were to stand on Willie Mullins’ gallop this morning and watch Bellshill, Kemboy and Al Boum Photo coming at you, Bellshill would put the other two on his back every day of the week.
We never managed to get that horse we see at home to come to the track and do it.
But the day he does, he’s a better horse than the other two.
I went over to Cheltenham last year and did some filming with Willie Mullins and tried to get to the bottom of how he’s going to end his Gold Cup drought. We asked ‘if is this your year, what’s the horse that could break the duck?’ He didn’t say Kemboy – he said Bellshill. Make of that what you will!
Presenting Percy is a horse that I like. I’d love to see him string a few runs together and get to Cheltenham with a great chance. The guy that owns him, Philip Reynolds, is a really sporting man and it’d be nice for him to see what this horse is really capable of.
If he’s not good enough well then he’s not good enough. But let him have a chance and I hope he does it.
I think if Delta Work runs the same race it did at Christmas it won’t be good enough, even though he beat Kemboy and Presenting Percy in that Savills Chase.
That’s because Kemboy is going to improve and the conditions are going to be in his favour. I think the race is set up for him. I think Presenting Percy would want a bit softer and a bit further to go. I’m a Presenting Percy fan, particularly for Cheltenham, and I’d love to see him run well and be there or thereabouts and the mania getting going again.
But I think KEMBOY is one of the naps of the weekend.