Delta Work and Presenting Percy head the market as stars circle for Down Royal

Presenting Percy, Delta Work and Chris's Dream have all stood their ground for a potentially mouthwatering opening Grade 1 of the jumps season at Down Royal on Saturday.

A total of 11 remain for the three-mile Ladbrokes Champion Steeplechase – five owned by Gigginstown House stud – as some of Ireland's premier staying chasers could go head-to-head in a race that could shape ante-post markets for the rest of the season.

Presenting Percy has not won over fences since running away with the 2018 RSA Chase and fell two out when a 10-1 shot for last year's Gold Cup.

A switch to Gordon Elliott over the summer, however, means he is contesting favouritism with new stablemate and last season's dual Grade 1 winner and Gold Cup fifth, Delta Work.

The pair are a best-priced 9-4 and 7-4 respectively, with Troytown and Red Mills winner Chris's Dream a best-priced 3-1. 

In a Racing Post stable tour, Elliott said about Presenting Percy: "I've always liked this horse. He has to improve 6lb or 7lb to be in with a chance of winning a Gold Cup, but we're hopeful he can and we're very happy with what he's showing us at home."

The likes of Alpha Des Obeaux, Balko Des Flos, Ravenhill, Snow Falcon, The Storyteller, Tout Est Permis, Moyhenna and Shattered Love complete the field of 11 possible runners at Tuesday's forfeit stage.

Samcro, who returned to something like the intimidating force of old by winning the Marsh Chase after wind surgery, was not among the acceptors at the latest forfeit stage, but he could still be in action on the undercard as he is one of seven entries in the Grade 2 Lough Construction Ltd Steeplechase over 2m3½f.

Cyrname, Darasso, Death Duty, Fakir D'Oudairies, Milan Native and Tiger Roll were the other six to come out.

William Hill: 11-8 Delta Work, 2 Presenting Percy, 3 Chris's Dream, 13-2 The Storyteller, 20 Balko Des Flos, Snow Falcon and Tout Est Permis, 25 Alpha Des Obeaux and Shattered Love, 40 Ravenhill and 50 Moyhenna