Penalty Aids Sir Lucan’s Cup Hopes

Sir Lucan is likely to have two chances at Melbourne Cup qualification over the next month following last Saturday’s win in the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m).

Racing NSW’s handicapping panel has penalised Sir Lucan an extra 1.5kg for the $2 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 8, elevating him from equal 53rd to equal 37th in the ballot order.

The Sydney Cup has a capacity field limit of 20 plus four emergencies, with attrition during the next month expected to allow the brother of 2020 Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet entry into the race should connections desire.

Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Sir Lucan will race second-up from a lengthy injury-enforced spell in the $500,000 Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington on March 25.

This year for the first time the Roy Higgins Quality will provide the winner ballot-free exemption for November’s Melbourne Cup.

“We’re going to grab (the opportunity) with both hands,” Waterhouse told “It’s got his name written all over it.

“He was here for the (2021 Melbourne) Cup but he was scrambled eggs. His head was not there and he was in such a tizz and then he went amiss,” Waterhouse added, reflecting on his 14th placing behind Verry Elleegant.

“We got him gelded and he’s never looked back.”

Sir Lucan has been promoted to $8 equal favourite for the Sydney Cup, alongside the William Haggas-trained Earl Of Tyrone, in the wake of his Randwick City Stakes win, while slicing his odds from $101 to $34 for the 2023 Melbourne Cup.

Sir Lucan is one of several in-form horses within the Waterhouse and Bott stable. Since February 13, the training combination has won 18 races from 49 starters (at a strike-rate of 36.7 per cent).

An ambassador for the Victoria Racing Club, Waterhouse will be at Flemington on Saturday to watch Gambare contest the $300,000 G2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).


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