Persan returns to winning form

17 December 2022 Written by Racing & Sports

Persan has led throughout to claim the JRA Trophy at Flemington.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained stayer Persan has registered his first win in more than 18 months with an all-the-way win at VRC Christmas Race Day. 

An emerging stayer through 2020, Persan eventually ran fifth in that year's Melbourne Cup and returned the following March to win first-up at Moonee Valley. 

But the stayer had been in the winning wilderness since that success until taking out the Listed JRA Trophy (2600m) on Saturday. 

Under a front running ride from Harry Coffey, Persan, the favourite, raced to a 1-¾ length win from Nobel Heights with Never Again a further eight lengths away third. 

Eustace said the six-year-old Persan had been a stalwart of the stable. 

"That was fantastic," Eustace said. 

"He's been a stalwart for the stable for a really long time. He's run in some top races and in the (Melbourne) Cup, so to get him back is such a great thrill for everyone. 

"Harry gave him an absolute pearler. He rode him very similar at Caulfield last time. He got it slightly more even today and the horse was great." 

Eustace said the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year's Day was likely to come under consideration for the stayer. 

"He's an older horse, in form and he's not going to want a long break," Eustace said. 

"He's enjoying a change of scenery at Cranbourne, so we'll have a chat to connections to see what they want to do." 

Coffey described Saturday's win as glorified trackwork after the pair was able to dictate the race. 

"We got a nice time in front, we built up from the 1200 metres, and we knew he was the class horse in the race," Coffey said. 

"With the weight disadvantage he had with the rest of the field, I didn't want to be left sitting and having to sprint when they did, so we rolled into it nicely. 

"He was the class horse and got the job done."

Class prevails.