SATURDAY: March 4, 2023: HAWKESBURY husband and wife trainers Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard were back in the city winning list today with a horse who has responded to a change of environment.
And whilst Luvoir’s gutsy victory in the Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick certainly didn’t surprise the couple, his odds did.
Starting at $26 in spite of an excellent second in a similar race over 1500m at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight ago, Luvoir (apprentice Zac Lloyd) led for the last three-quarters of the race and gamely held out well-backed favorite Navajo Peak ($3.80) and Carolina Fire ($6) to post the fifth win of his career – and his first for the Attards.
“We were very surprised he was such good odds ($31 on TAB.com.au) especially after a really good run last time when he covered ground and fought on gamely,” Jason Attard said this evening.
“Luvoir had a few behavioural issues, and because of a connection with Susie Woodcock, who bred him at Meredith Park in the Southern Highlands, he came to us.
“He has been a tricky horse mentally, and had a problem getting on to a float.
“We take him to the track six mornings a week, and he goes out in a paddock at home during the day.
“I ride him, and he has become one of my ‘best mates’ at our farm.
“The change of environment seems to have done the trick, and gradually we have been able to get on top of his issues to sort him out.
“Luvoir is a pleasure to have around the stable.”
The six-year-old son of Deep Field provided Team Attard with its sixth win of the season, and the first metropolitan success since Knight scored at their home track Saturday stand-alone meeting in April last year.
Now that Luvoir is back in winning form, the Attards will look for another suitable Midway in town for him.
“I think he might get even a bit further than 1600m, as he likes to bowl along as he did today,” Attard said.
. Team Attard won’t be pursuing a further Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championship path with three-times winner Sovereign Express, who finished 11th to Essonne in the opening heat at Kembla Grange last Thursday week.
“He has now had two runs back at 1400m, and there’s no point keeping him at that distance as he is now looking for further,” Jason Attard said.
. HOOFNOTE: There was no rest for the wicked, so to speak, for Jason Attard, notwithstanding a breakthrough city victory.
He was mowing a few paddocks when we caught up with him around 6pm, but enjoying a cold ale whilst doing his work.