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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


WEDNESDAY: March 22, 2023: IT’S been eight years since Jason Attard won his first Hawkesbury Gold Cup with Sons Of John. Now training in partnership with his wife Lucy Keegan-Attard, another shot at the home town feature next month is in the offing, this time with Luvoir.

The Deep Field six-year-old gave another dazzling front-running display today on the Kensington track to make it two city wins in a row.

With star apprentice Zac Lloyd aboard, Luvoir ($4.80 favorite) ran his rivals off their legs in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1550m), holding on gamely to defeat Unspoken and Pretty Amazing, both $5.50 chances.

The gelding had also led throughout when successful in a Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1600m) on the Royal Randwick course proper on March 4.

Whilst Jason Attard isn’t certain Luvoir will make the field for the $200,000 Group 3 Richmond Club Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) at Hawkesbury Race Club’s Saturday stand-alone meeting on April 22, the omens are certainly there if the gelding does secure a berth.

“Sons Of John carried the limit weight (54kg) when he won in 2015, and Luvoir would get in on the limit as well,” Attard said en route home this evening.

“We’ve found out that he likes to lead, and it would be nice to have another runner in the Gold Cup at home.

“We’ll see what happens.

“Great credit must go to Zac Lloyd, who has done a terrific job on Luvoir.

“It wasn’t a plan to lead on him when he won at Randwick earlier in the month, but Zac allowed him to bowl along when he began so well, and got him into a good rhythm.

“So we decided to do the same today on the inside track, and Zac got Luvoir into a good rhythm again.”

Team Attard got Luvoir to train late last year when Meredith Park’s Susie Woodcock, who bred the gelding, asked the couple to take over his training, hoping a change of environment from a city stable would have the desired effect – and it has.

“Luvoir was unlucky not to have won his past three in town as he had to race wide and was narrowly beaten in another Midway Benchmark 72 at Rosehill Gardens on February 18,” Attard said.

“We gave him a quiet week at our farm swimming and being ridden around the arena after he won at Randwick earlier this month,” Jason Attard said.

“Then we got him back into his routine. He is a happy horse and has really responded to the quieter environment.”

. Team Attard kept the Hawkesbury flag flying high when they won a Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1500m) with Knight at last year’s stand-alone meeting.

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