Monalee one to fear for Percy team

08 February 2018 05:35:25 EST

Connections of Presenting Percy have identified Monalee as the rival to fear in next month's RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Presenting Percy, winner of the Pertemps Final in the Cotswolds a year ago, has shown himself to be a smart chaser this season with two wins from three starts over the larger obstacles.

Last month he was sent back over hurdles by trainer Pat Kelly and he duly landed the Grade Two Galmoy Hurdle over three-miles at Gowran Park.

The RSA over that same trip is the Cheltenham target, with Presenting Percy rated a 5/2 chance to win the festival novice contest.

Monalee, trained by Henry De Bromhead, is 1/1 in the RSA market and he showed no ill effects from a Christmas fall when bravely winning making most of the running to win a 2m5f Grade One novice event at the Dublin Racing Festival last weekend.

Presenting Percy's owner Philip Reynolds believes Monalee, along with the horse that chased him home last weekend the Willie Mullins-trained Al Boum Photo, will be key players in the RSA Chase.

"I thought Monalee was fantastic at Leopardstown over the weekend and he looks like he's going to be serious opposition in the RSA," said the owner.

"Al Boum Photo also ran a good race in second so it looks like it's going to be a very hot race, which is why we want to give him another run."

Al Boum Photo is trading at 1/1 to win the RSA for the Mullins team.

A potential clash with Ladbrokes Trophy winner Total Recall in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse later this month could be in the offing for Presenting Percy, with Reynolds content to take on decent horses in order to sharpen up his charge before Cheltenham.

"The Bobbyjo would probably suit him a little better as it's over further but the only problem is that it's not run until the end of the month," he added.

"He's already proved that he's a quality animal and we don't mind stepping out of novice company. I think if he's going to be competitive in the RSA he'll need to be competitive in a Bobbyjo or a Red Mills Chase."

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