EUROPEAN staying power dominated the second running of the 2,400-metre International Vase at Sha Tin yesterday as France's Partipral edged out England's Needle Gun. The public latched on to the fact that it is to Europe that you look for the best staying genes and forced Partipral to 3.4-1 favouritism with Needle Gun next best at 5.1-1. They didn't let their supporters down though Australia's Royal Snack came on strongly over the last 200 metres but couldn't catch the Europeans. Winning trainer Elie Lellouche, who has 130 horses at his Chantilly complex, is no stranger to training winners abroad having taken the top-class miler Bigstone to England to win the Group One Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes two years ago. Partipral jockey Olivier Peslier knows all about winning as he has been locked in a ding-dong battle with reigning champion Thierry Jarnet in the French championship. Peslier thought the galloping Sha Tin track and the fast pace throughout - they ran just 0.6 seconds or around three lengths slower than Red Bishop clocked when setting the all-time course record of two minutes 25.1 in last season's Vase - really helped Partipral run to his best in the race. 'In France the pace of the race is all important. Normally we jump okay but then it is very slow. The finish is the thing which matters. Also the courses are up and down, this way and that. It is all stop-start and my horses much prefer just to gallop and gallop. 'That is how the race was run today and it suited him. When races are run like this he is a Group Two horse,' said Peslier. Frankie Dettori was full of praise for Needle Gun who has only two career wins to his name but eight placings in some elite company. 'He was beaten by a better horse on the day but he ran a great race and the old boy really battled. He was fighting back on the line.' The Ivan Allan-trained Privilege was the main Hong Kong hope but he was not done any favours by being taken on for the lead by Smiling and eventually finished fifth. 'It probably didn't make too much difference but being taken on in the early and middle stages didn't do him any favours,' said Privilege's jockey Basil Marcus. Last year's Vase saw a European one-two in Red Bishop and Urgent Request and they do look to have too much strength in depth for this event at the moment, despite it coming at the end of their regular racing season. The Japanese runner, Tanino Create, ran a highly creditable fourth while the 78-year-old Australian training legend George Hanlon was delighted with Royal Snack's effort. The triple Melbourne Cup winning handler said: 'The key was to get him settled and let him run home when he wanted to himself. I train all my horses that way, in the hills and the beach.'