PERANA has shortened in the betting from 14-1 to 9-1 on bettingworld for Saturday’s R2-million Sansui Summer Cup over 2000m, a surprising reflection of the market considering his poor run in the recent Victory Moon Handicap over 1800m.
The Rock Of Gibraltar gelding finished 34 lengths behind Smanjemanje after starting tote favourite, but the turf accountants seem willing to give him another chance to prove himself.
Perana established the reputation of being a freakishly talented horse after he defeated Mother Russia’s in the 2010 renewal of the Victory Moon, but he hasn’t been the same horse since, with a number of below-par runs.
Rested and gelded, he returned to the track with an impressive and fast-finishing third to Soul Master in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1800m and Mike said: “His comeback run was excellent and we fancied him to win the Victory Moon Handicap again, but he simply gave up in the straight. It was completely puzzling.”
Mike said that all physical checks had been done after the race but that absolutely no injury or even a niggle was found. “Perana is sound and well and there is just no way I can explain why he ran so poorly. Anybody with an answer as to why he ran like he did, can contact me, I am baffled. ”
It is possible that Perana did not enjoy the firm track condition on Victory Moon night. Mike commented: “He won his maiden in soft going and when he beat Mother Russia the track surface was also on the softer side. This year the track was rock hard for the Victory Moon. But that’s just a theory and we really don’t know what to expect from him on Saturday.
“Perana is fit and ready and I’ve seen horses turn themselves around in a short period of time after inexplicable runs like these, but whether he will bring his best to the Summer Cup will have to be seen.”
Mike said that his other Cup contenders, Rudra, Il Sanpietro and Flirtation, were all doing well in their preparation for the big race.