Persan outstayed the gallant Nobel Heights to claim the Listed JRA Trophy at Flemington.

They gapped the rest, Never Again placed third 9¾ lengths behind Persan, in the 2600m feature. With the win, the ever-consistent stayer Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Persan ended a 21-month drought.

“He’s been a stalwart for the stable for a really long time, he’s ran in some top races, obviously in the Cups, to get him back winning is a great thrill for everyone,” Eustace said.

“He’s a real favourite for the whole team and got to say Harry (Coffey) gave him an absolute pearler, rode him very similar at Caulfield, just got it slightly better, slightly more even, and the horse was great.”

Ashford Street on fast lane to Warrnambool

All roads lead to the Warrnambool May Carnival for local trainer Ken Elford after Ashford Street upstaged more fancied rivals to win the Listed Kensington Stakes at Flemington.

Rose Quartz went out a $2.10 favourite but could do no better than fourth as Ashford Street and Yulong Command went stride for stride in the 1000m race. Colsridge, the outsider of the field, scampered into third place.

“He’s probably going to have a break soon and go to the Wangoom,” Elford said after winning his first stakes’ race. “That’s the aim with him, win the Wangoom.”

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