PRESENTING PERCY showed class is permanent with a commanding victory in the Galmoy Hurdle.
Last year’s RSA winner hadn’t been seen since the Cheltenham Festival but returned with all his vigour to see off a strong challenge from trainer Willie Mullins.
Sent off an uneasy 9-4f on his return to action, the son of Sir Percy travelled with his trademark enthusiasm throughout the Grade 2 contest.
Given a quiet ride by Davy Russell, he quickened approaching the second last and gamely saw off challenges from the Mullins battalion of Killultagh Vic, Baupaume and Limini.
It was a hugely encouraging reappearance from Pat Kelly’s eight-year-old, who was shortened into 11-4f for the Cheltenham Gold Cup immediately afterwards.
Winning rider Davy Russell said: “He’s trained by a professional man. My horse hasn’t run in so long and I was happy to follow in midfield as he jumps straight and travels well.
“He impresses me and he keeps doing the job. I’d imagine the Red Mills Chase and then the Gold Cup would be the plan though he’s also got the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle as an option.
“It’s very pleasing to ride a winner here and the crowd gave me a great reception.”