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Lucan back in luck at Rosehill

The Tulloch Lodge team's confidence in the ability of Sir Lucan (Ire) to turn around a last-start flop in the space of seven days has been rewarded with the stayer bouncing back to his best in the Listed Winter Cup.

Well-beaten as favourite in the Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) at Randwick a week ago, Sir Lucan (Ire) responded to a patient Adam Hyeronimus ride to take out Saturday's 2400-metre Rosehill feature.

Stable representative Neil Paine said trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott were left scratching their heads following the horse's disappointing effort last week but kept faith that the performance was an anomaly.

"There is two of him and the right one turned up today," Paine said. "That was beautiful. Adam rode him an absolute treat.

"What happened to him last week, I do not know, but we love Gai and Adrian's horses backing up. When they back-up, they just fire. Don't ask me why, but they do."

Sir Lucan (Ire) runs out an emphatic winner of the Listed Winter Cup; picture sportpix.com.au

Sir Lucan (Ire) led and tired at Randwick, but up 400m in distance, he settled midfield and finished strongly between runners to defeat Hopeful (Fr) by 1-3/4 lengths, with another length to Gan Teorainn (Ire) in third.

The winner was brought to Australia for the 2021 Melbourne Cup, finishing fourteenth to Verry Elleegant (NZ) before being sidelined for 15 months by injury. He returned to win the 2023 Randwick City Stakes and Saturday's success was his first since then.

Hyeronimus said that while Sir Lucan (Ire) had largely been regarded as an on-pace stayer, he believed he was better ridden conservatively.

"I think it's a negative for him to lead, I really do," Hyeronimus said. "The biggest thing was to not rush him early and just find a nice, comfortable position.

"The speed was on early, which was always going to enhance our chances, but when I got into a nice position midfield and he travelled so sweetly through the run, it was just a matter of keeping him balanced.

"It's playing towards the inside today and I was trying to save ground. We were able to do so and he showed a good turn of foot on the heavy track."

While Hyeronimus took out the feature, riding honours for the day went to Jay Ford courtesy of a winning treble for three different trainers.

Ford combined with Team Hawkes to win the opening race on two-year-old Swiftfalcon before adding victories aboard the Chris Waller-trained Strathtay in the James Squire handicap (2000m) and In Flight for Joe Pride in the ATC Foundation Handicap (1100m).

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