Michael Moroney’s upset Stradbroke Handicap...
Brisbane based trainer Tony Gollan is confident his veteran galloper Listen Son is in the right form to be competitive when they step up in class on Saturday taking on a Group 2 field in the 2013 Villiers Stakes in Sydney.
A full field of 14 horses is engaged in this year’s $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1550m) at Kensington, a race traditionally run over the Randwick mile.
One of those is Big Jesse gelding Listen Son who came up trumps with barrier three and who gets in on a nice 54kg light weight.
Last start they carried 57kg when defeated just a quarter length running second over 1300m at Eagle Farm on November 2.
They’ve had a short freshen-up then and should be ready to fire over the increased distance.
Two back they raced, and won by one and a quarter lengths, over the Doomben mile indicating Saturday’s 1550m will suit.
Surprisingly it will be the seven-year-olds’ first interstate assignment.
They will also be ridden for the first time by Kathy O’Hara who makes her comeback from a head injury sustained from a Randwick race fall on November 29 this Saturday.
Listen Son though will need to be at their best if they are to take on and defeat the likes of Alma’s Fury who was second in this race last year, and Tony McEvoy’s recent Seymour Cup winner Sysmo.
Earlier in the week there was a chance Listen Son could have been kept home again with Gollan also nominating them for a 1600m handicap at Doomben.
With storms predicted for Brisbane however Gollan did not accept for that race, Listen Son’s wet track form very poor.
“They are forecasting storms up here unfortunately and maybe showers in the Sydney,” Gollan told AAP from Brisbane.
“But the (Kensington) track down there is such a good drying track, so that’s maybe the way we’ll lead.
“He looks the pace in the race and that sort of track will probably suit him.”
While it’s been over a month between runs Gollan is confident Listen Son is still fit enough for the Sydney Group 2 acid test.
“I’ve had to scratch him a few times because of wet tracks but he’s been having jump-outs every two weeks,” Gollan said.
“He’s been in work quite a while and he’s no stranger to having his runs spaced.
“I think the horse is going super, he’s been in good form and it’s worth having a crack.”
Villiers Stakes odds are due out at the Aussie bookmakers shortly so make sure you’ve got an account open with the best of them – Ladbrokes.com.au – to get in on the action!
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