Persan Back to Best in Listed JRA Trophy
Quality stayer Persan (6g Pierro x Ofcourseican, by Mossman) ended a frustrating run of placings, when returning to the winner’s circle at Flemington on Saturday with a commanding victory in the $175,000 Listed VRC JRA Trophy (2600m).
Trained by the powerful Maher Eustace team, Persan had now won a race since March 2021, but he’s been very competitive in elite staying events since then, placing in several Group races including a memorable third to Incentivise in the 2021 Group I Caulfield Cup after running fifth in the Melbourne Cup in 2020.
Carrying topweight of 60kg, he showed his class under Harry Coffey to win by nearly two lengths taking his overall record to eight wins and 11 placings from 36 starts with prizemoney of $.7million.
"That was fantastic," David Eustace said.
"He's been a stalwart for the stable for a really long time. He's run in some top races and in the (Melbourne) Cup, so to get him back is such a great thrill for everyone.
"Harry gave him an absolute pearler. He rode him very similar at Caulfield last time. He got it slightly more even today and the horse was great."
The Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year's Day is a likely next target for Persan.
"He's an older horse, in form and he's not going to want a long break," Eustace said.
"He's enjoying a change of scenery at Cranbourne, so we'll have a chat to connections to see what they want to do."
A $160,000 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale purchase from the Holbrook Thoroughbreds draft for James Bester Bloodstock, Persan was passed in when re-offered as a yearling and runs for owners that include the astute bloodstock agent as well as Kia Ora Stud and Rob McLure of Morning Rise Stud in whose colours he runs.
Bred by David Bentata, Persan is the best of six winners from Group I winner Ofcourseican, a half-sister by Mossman to South African Group I winner and sire Gimmethegreenlight.
Persan is the fourth stakes-winner this season for Pierro, who has 20 entries for Magic Millions.