Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Persian Packs a Punch

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Persian Packs a Punch

Article excerpt

Byline: By Keith Hamer

Seabiscuit, a film about the rags-to-riches story of a horse who became a racing legend in the 1930s, is taking America by storm, but Persian Punch showed yet again yesterday that Britain has its own present-day equine star.

The latest chapter in the incredible story of the 10-year-old came when he chalked up his 12th Group win and the 19th victory of his long and illustrious career in the feature race on day two of the Seabiscuit St Leger Festival at Doncaster.

Virtually written off after a poor performance in the Goodwood Cup 14 months ago, he has bounced back with a vengeance and pummelled the opposition into submission in the GNER Doncaster Cup.

Not only did he make all the running over a tough two and a quarter miles, but he had his five rivals strung out like moderate long-distance chasers in the mud.

Persian Punch won unopposed to claim this Group Two prize at the fourth attempt and take his total earnings from 60 races to within pounds 25,000 of the magical pounds 1million mark.

"It would be great to get there but we won't tempt providence by talking about it," said trainer David Elsworth.

"While he maintains this level of form I am not even going to mention retirement.

"The plans for the rest of the year remain as they have been - the Prix du Cadran and the Jockey Club Cup."

The 3-1 shot was given a tremendous reception by an appreciative Town Moor crowd as he landed one of his easiest victories, strolling home by seven lengths from Dusky Warbler, with Hugs Dancer two and a half lengths further away in third.

Both the Whitsbury trainer and owner Jeff Smith felt that Martin Dwyer did not go fast enough when Persian Punch was beaten in the Lonsdale Stakes at York last month and for a while they must have felt the jockey had overdone it as he swept into the home straight over half a mile out with an eight-length lead.

But any fears were quickly quashed as all Persian Punch's rivals were all struggling. …

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