The excellent recent form of Persian Goddess, a finalist in Saturday night’s Trios Winter Cup (520m) at Cranbourne, has come at a perfect time for young Yinnar South trainer Ben Joske.
In winning nine of her 18 starts and qualifying for the G1 Sapphire Crown final last month, Persian Goddess, which is a $15 outsider in TAB’s Winter Cup market despite a dominant heat victory, has helped put the 37-year-old on the map.
Joske’s rapidly growing resume will look even more impressive if Persian Goddess, a daughter of Aston Dee Bee bred by his father Gary, can outpoint a quality field, headlined by $2.20 favourite Immunity, to claim the $20,535 winner’s purse.
“I only bought a property and went full-time coming up to 12 months ago, so it validates the decision to go all-in,” Joske said.
“I knew Dad had a decent litter coming through which gave me a bit of confidence and a base to start off with. I’ve bought some other dogs and now that I’m getting a bit of attention and people realise you can train I’m being offered some dogs.
“Persian Goddess is going really well but she has to show she can go to the next level and prove she’s a genuine city class dog and can run the 29.20sec and 29.30sec that you need to.
“She’s had a bit of an interrupted career so we’re still not sure where she can get to but I think she’s right at her peak now.
“The best one in the litter is actually sitting in the kennel. His name is Ever Lovin’ Man. He’s won three races from eight starts and ran 25.68sec at Sale, so he can run, but we just can’t get him to the track.”
Persian Goddess made an impressive Cranbourne debut in last weekend’s heats, leading all-the-way in 30.19sec, and Joske is confident she can find the necessary improvement to be a major factor in the final, which is Race 8 at 7.23pm.
“She hadn’t raced at Cranbourne before but our breakers use Cranbourne so she’s been around there but not for a long time so she went in a little bit cold,” Joske said.
“I think she’ll improve but she’ll need to because there’s some class dogs in the race.
“Going into the Sapphire I didn’t give myself much hope but on Saturday I think she’d have to be in the top two or three chances. I expect her to be there or thereabouts.
“I wasn’t upset when Persian Goddess drew box seven. She won her Sapphire heat from seven and she likes to come down on other dogs. If I wasn’t going to draw box one I’d want to be where she is.”
WATCH: Persian Goddess (6) leads from go-to-whoa in a Winter Cup heat at Cranbourne last week.
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