Persuasive States National Derby Case

VICTORIAN visitor Persuasive ‘convinced’ caretaker trainer Jason Magri about his National Derby credentials with an impressive heat win Friday.

Gerard Guthrie

20 January 2022

LIGHTLY-raced Victorian visitor Persuasive ‘convinced’ caretaker trainer Jason Magri about his Group 1 National Derby credentials with an impressive all-the-way heat victory at his ‘500m’ debut last Friday.

Betting on Saturday night’s Derby final backs up Magri’s belief, with Persuasive, one of five Victorian finalists, TAB’s $3.90 second elect from Box 6.

Persuasive was one of two Vics transferred to Magri for the $75,000 to-the-winner Derby series, along with G1 Silver Chief runner-up Compliance, both sons of Black Magic Opal bred and raced by Amanda Tullio.

Both had Box 8 when they made their Wentworth Park debuts in the Derby heats, where Persuasive ($4), which is trained in his home state by Chris Darmanin, led all-the-way in 29.94sec, his fourth win from ten starts.

Persuasive has enormous upside heading into the Derby, as aside from the benefit of his ‘first-up’ Wentworth Park heat victory, his previous wins came over 460m at Geelong (2) and 390m at Ballarat.

“I’ve had Persuasive for close to a month now,” said Jason Magri.

“I was rapt in his heat win and I really like the dog. 

“I think he’s a nice dog in the making. He’s got a very good attitude and he wants to race. I wouldn’t mind keeping him up here a bit longer!

“I’d given him a post-to-post trial and a 520m trial at Wentworth Park before the Derby heats and he went nice in both. 

“He ran around 29.65sec in his trial and I think he can get down to 29.50sec on a good track if he gets everything right.

“He can win the final if he gets the start right, but if he blows the start and gets back in traffic it makes it very hard for young dogs.”

Compliance, which led everywhere bar the winning post in the Silver Chief on January 1, also led in his Derby heat as $1.90 favourite but was run down by Springview Noah in 30.02sec and is first reserve for the final.

“Wayne (Vassallo) and Karen (Pitt) brought Compliance up for a trial at Wentworth Park the week before the Derby heats but he only went around 30.45sec,” Magri explained.

“They ummed and ahhed about whether to leave him here for the Derby and asked me to take him for the series.

“The dog has a lot of speed but he just hasn’t taken to Wenty yet.

“He’s not a real confident dog and I think he’s one of those dogs that needs a couple of looks at a track to show his best.

“He was just run down in the Silver Chief and they broke 30 seconds – he ran 29.80sec – so going off that I’d say he can get down to 29.60sec at Wentworth Park.”

The Victorian raiders dominate the pointy end of Derby betting.

Boston Garden, which is trained by three-time Derby winner Jeff Britton but is based locally with Christine Proctor, is $3.20 favourite from Box 8.

Emily Azzopardi’s Slingshot Jonesy (Box 1), and Zara’s Ivan (Box 2), prepared by Andrea Dailly, are the only other two finalists at single figures, at $3.90 and $4.80 respectively.

Angela Langton’s Osprey Phantom (Box 3), which is also with Christine Proctor, is a $23 outsider.