Lord Belvedere defeats Chapada at Flemington (Image: Racing Photos/Ross Holburt)
Lord Belvedere completed a successful return from major surgery when winning at Flemington on Saturday.
The European import raced by Highclere arrived in Australia in early 2019, winning two of his first three starts including a victory over 2500 metres at Flemington in July 2019.
But within a week of that first Australian metropolitan win Lord Belvedere underwent colic surgery.
“He’s come through that well, he’s lucky to be alive,” said co-trainer David Eustace, who prepares Lord Belverdere in partnership with Ciaron Maher.
The six-year-old Archipenko gelding returned to racing in April and was unplaced in two heavy track starts before delivering in Saturday’s $108,000 George Watson Handicap (2540m) at Flemington.
Settling last under Ben Melham, Lord Belvedere ($15) profited from the genuine tempo and came widest of all in the straight to deny Chapada ($4) consecutive wins by three quarters of a length with Sin To Win ($6.50) a further three lengths away in third.
“He will come on a lot,” Eustace said.
“Before the race I said to Ben (Melham) that we were happy with him but he was probably a run away from being spot on.
“The race just panned out really nicely. The speed kept building and building with Starcaster coming into the race. That really helped and Ben gave him a beautiful ride.
“We’ll see what’s next for him. He’s open class now so there’ll be a race for him.