Persan set to bag the Bagot on New Year's Day

28 December 2022 Written by Racing & Sports

Persan can continue a good Flemington run in the Bagot Handicap on New Years’ Day.

You can tell when Ciaron Maher has a soft spot for any of the hundreds of thoroughbreds under his care and Persan is one of those horses.

Persan made a welcome return to the winners' list at Flemington on December 10 taking out the Listed JRA Trophy over 2600 metres in an ideal lead-up to the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) on Sunday.

It was the first time the six-year-old had saluted since March 2021, then over 2040m at Moonee Valley, and Maher gives off the feeling that Persan is just about as good as ever.

"He's in super order and he looks fantastic," Maher said.

"He'll get a bit of weight but the track and distance is all positive.

"I think he looked better again last time and he's just thriving and he's an older horse that took a little bit to find form and he's done it now.

Persan was a staple for punters through the winter of 2020 snaring three wins in-a-row at Flemington ranging from 2000m to 2500m and continued that good run towards winning the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2510m) before exceeding expectations with a fifth placing in the 2020 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).

"The owners have had a great run with him," Maher added.

"He had a stack years ago and I thought that it was such a dramatic fall in a race in Sydney, to take them on the ride he's taken them on, they just love it."

That 'stack' was at Randwick in April 2019 when Persan fell just metres before the line in a listed two-year-old event – his third lifetime outing.

Lining up now for his 37th start, Persan's resilience has been given a kick along by his pairing with Harry Coffey who has been aboard for his past two start.

"Aided by a good ride by Harry, he's really clicked with him the past two starts and I think he's got everything right," Maher adds.

While spacing his starts is key now for Persan, Maher said that the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) in March could be a next step after the Bagot outing.

"The Adelaide Cup might be the go for him," he said.

"If you're fair to him, he's fair to you, usually."