His horse ran second in the Lough Neagh Stakes last year but trainer Tony Gollan says there’s plenty of upside about Listen Son to go one better in 2011.
The race is one of the features of the Brisbane summer series and as a result looks hot on paper but Gollan is confident he has the quality to get the job done.
Were Listen Son not up to the job he has a handy backup as well in the form of Spirit Of Boom.
That said he’s locked in Listen Son as his main pick to claim some vengeance from last year’s result.
In that event he started favourite but fell short by a length to Zero Rock.
She’s just one of the threats that remains in the 2011 field and the duo are far from a clear top two.
Zero Rock rises three kilos to 58kg from last year while Listen Son cops 4kg to hit 57kg.
Regardless though Gollan says the horse has the goods to perform.
“I thought Listen Son was unlucky last year. He struck trouble at the home turn and Zero Rock raced clear before my horse rallied late to close the margin back to a length,” Gollan said.
“It also wasn’t an ideal lead-in to the race. Listen Son had run second in the Recognition Stakes over a mile three weeks earlier.
“This time he’s had a month since he won at 1200 metres and really has improved a fair bit since then.”
He also has the barrier to do the job with his natural forward rolling style suited from an inside draw.
“From the good draw (4), he and Adebisi look the logical two to roll forward early,” he said.
As for Spirit Of Boom, he didn’t fare quite so well and will need a bit of luck to find a spot from out wide.
“How the tempo unfolds probably holds the key to Spirit Of Boom. I’m extremely disappointed he has a tricky barrier (12).”
Their task has been made somewhat easier with the scratching of Essington after trainer Darryl Hansen had his appeal over a six month doping ban rejected.