Alan Persse is among a group of highly-promising apprentice riders whose careers are very much on the up. Being attached to Joseph O’Brien‘s stable gives an indication of the regard in which he is held so he is well positioned for further progression once racing resumes.
It may be a little-known fact but Alan’s ancestry includes an illustrious racing figure. If you watched Royal Ascot in 2017 or are a film buff, your memory may well be nudged when you discover the answer. See more below.
Once again, I am deeply grateful to Alan, and all the jockeys involved, for taking the time to answer my questions.
JOCKEY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 7—- ALAN PERSSE
NAME: ALAN PERSSE
WHERE ARE YOU FROM: KELLS, CO. KILKENNY
STABLE YOUR ATTACHED TO: JOSEPH O’BRIEN AND I GO TO PAT FLYNN’S ONCE A WEEK
HOW DID YOU GET INTO RACING: WE ALWAYS HAD HORSES WITH THE PARENTS HAVING A FEW BROODMARES AND POINT-TO-POINTERS
WHAT’S THE STORY ON YOUR FAMOUS RACING ANCESTOR? I AM DISTANTLY RELATED TO HENRY SEYMOUR PERSSE, WHO WAS BETTER KNOWN AS ATTY PERSSE. YOU MIGHT REMEMBER A HORSE OF THAT NAME WINNING THE KING GEORGE V STAKES AT ROYAL ASCOT IN 2017 FOR TRAINER ROGER CHARLTON. ATTY WAS CHAMPION TRAINER IN BRITAIN IN 1930. HE CO-WROTE A BOOK CALLED ‘TRAINER AND TEMPTRESS’, WHICH WAS MADE INTO A SILENT FILM BEARING THE SAME NAME IN 1925
(NB: A synopsis of the film reads as follows: A Lady tries to win the Derby by burning a trainer’s stables!
Atty’s family were from Galway; Atty initially trained in Dublin but moved to England in 1906; one of his most-famous horses was The Tetrarch, a horse of unusual colour who was retired after winning all seven of his starts as a two-year-old; he then became a very influential sire despite an inauspicious start to his breeding career.
A fascinating piece on Atty Persse and The Tetrarch from ‘The Vault: Horse Racing Past And Present’ can be found here >> https://bit.ly/2SLQqTL )
JOCKEY YOU IDOLISED GROWING UP: PAT SMULLEN
FAVOURITE RACECOURSE AND WHY? LEOPARDSTOWN AS I RODE MY FIRST WINNER THERE, A DAY I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN. (THAT WINNER WAS DAMSELFLY FOR JOSEPH O’BRIEN IN OCTOBER 2017)
TOUGHEST COURSE TO RIDE: GALWAY
HOW MANY WINNERS HAVE YOU RIDDEN SO FAR: 12
HORSE THAT YOU LOOK FORWARD TO THIS SEASON: THAMES RIVER (AN EPSOM AND IRISH DERBY ENTRY WHO IS A HALF-BROTHER TO THE 2017 GROUP 1 ST JAMES’S PALACE STAKES WINNER BARNEY ROY; THAMES RIVER WON A MAIDEN AT DUNDALK IN OCTOBER ON JUST HIS SECOND START)
RACE YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO WIN: EPSOM DERBY
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO OWN THAT YOU DONT HAVE ALREADY? MY OWN HOUSE
HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF RACING: I LIVE ON A FARM SO I HELP OUT THERE AND DO A BIT OF RUNNING.
FOOTBALL TEAM YOU SUPPORT: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR