Pierro Stayer Books Melbourne Cup Ticket
Progressive stayer Persan (4h Pierro x Ofcourseican, by Mossman) is a horse on the up and he’ll be running in the Melbourne Cup after securing his slot with a stylish victory in the Group III VRC The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Since joining the stable of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace earlier this year, Persan has worked his way through the grades and in 10 starts has never finished further back than third.
In seven of those starts he’s been ridden by Jye McNeil and he was on board again this time, steering Persan to a length victory from barrier one.
"He got a beautiful ride from Jye, who's got a great association with the horse. We've got to get him to stay two miles now, but he switches off lovely and he's got tactical speed,” said David Eustace.
"He's going to be in with a low weight. We've just got to find a jockey now."
McNeil must give up the Persan ride for the rest of the spring as he already has commitments for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, but believes Persan is capable of figuring in both races.
"He's been fantastic to me and the owners. Dave and Ciaron, they've done a terrific job keeping him up and going for so long. I guess everyone overlooked him today and I was a little bit concerned about the dry track, but he went fantastic," McNeil said.
"He's just been a horse that has improved all the time.
"With those types of horses it's hard to know where the limit is. He keeps raising the bar and he's earned himself a nice little spot in this year's Cup.
"I'm aboard Twilight Payment (in the Melbourne Cup) and that'd be right, the year that I can get a ride in the Melbourne Cup, I've got two."
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.
Persan has the progressive record of six wins and five placings from 19 starts with prizemoney in excess of $650,000.
Bred by David Bentata, Persan is the best of four winners from Group I winner Ofcourseican, a half-sister by Mossman to South African Group I winner and sire Gimmethegreenlight.
Persan is the 24th stakes-winner for champion sire Pierro, who goes from strength to strength and stands at a fee of $137,500 this spring.