Veteran stayer Junoob has been hailed as a legend and a warhorse after winding back the clock to win the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup.
The nine-year-old’s return to the winner’s circle was trainer Chris Waller’s third victory at Randwick on Saturday.
Junoob drifted from $4 to $5.50 before the race and gave up between 2.5 and 4kg to the rest of the field.
That didn’t stop the gelding from rounding up the field to score a one-length win from stablemate Murphy’s Delight ($8.50) with Alegria ($5.50) third.
“He’s an absolute legend of a horse,” Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth said.
“I suppose plenty of people would be wondering why he’s still in training but he comes past the tower bucking, screaming and kicking every day.
“He’s the happiest horse alive.”
It was Junoob’s first win since last year’s Ballarat Cup.
Since then he has placed in six stakes races to break through the $1 million prize money barrier.
“He’s been bloody good this prep,” Duckworth said.
“I don’t think he’s run a race where he hasn’t picked up prize money.”
A little more than two years ago Junoob was first over the line in the Group One Metropolitan Handicap at the same track and distance but was later stripped of the race after testing positive for the diuretic Frusemide.
Duckworth said Junoob had showed he had retained some of the ability he displayed that day.
“He’s been running consistently and he was rewarded today,” Duckworth said.
He ran sixth in this year’s Metropolitan on October 1 and jockey Rory Hutchings said the horse had relished the drop in class.
“He’s an old warhorse,” Hutchings said.
“They put speed on at about the 600 or 700 metres and I went with them.
“I was in front a long way from home and he just kept finding.”
Stablemate Murphy’s Delight flashed home to finish second and will now head to the 2800m handicap at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.
Caped Crusader, trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, took the lead early but was pulled out of the race at the 600m mark.
He was taken to Randwick Equine Centre with suspected injury to his off-hind leg.