The unbeaten run of Vain Queen came to an end at Sandown on Saturday as the John McArdle-trained Legcut bounced back to winning form.
Legcut had been unplaced in her two starts this campaign but McArdle opted for a gear change of a cross-over noseband and believed that made a difference.
The four-year-old settled in behind the speed in the Hyland Race Colours Plate (1000m) and then sprinted quickly when a gap appeared in the final 200m to win by 1-1/2 lengths.
Vain Queen had won her first four starts and resumed from a lengthy spell but didn’t produce the turn of foot her rider Tom Sadler was expecting in the straight and the favourite weakened into fourth.
McArdle said things had not gone right for Legcut in her two previous starts, but he was pleased to see the mare, which firmed from $21 to $16, bounce back and notch her sixth win in 22 starts.
“We just had a little gear change during the week and that got her to settle better and she didn’t race with her mouth wide open like she has her last couple,” McArdle said.
“That was the old Legcut. She was very strong at the finish.”
Nadeem Lass ($15) ran home for second 1-1/4 lengths ahead of Hotel Sierra ($8), with Vain Queen, a drifter from $2 to $2.60, fourth.
Stewards reported Vain Queen pulled up with the thumps, a severe form of equine hiccups marked by sudden contractions of the diaphragm muscles.
Sadler said Vain Queen’s performance was disappointing.
“She had been doing everything right at home and we couldn’t have been happier coming into today,” he said.
He said the mare felt good in the run but when he asked her to sprint, she found nothing.
“To come out and do that was a bit strange,” he said.