Trainer Tony Gollan has revealed that veteran gelding Listen Son will follow his usual racing pattern and head straight to the lead in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1550m) at the Randwick Kensington track on Saturday.
Listen Son was included in the acceptances for both the Villiers Stakes and Brisbane Handicap but the leading Brisbane trainer has decided to take the seven-year-old to Sydney for the first time in his racing career.
The son of Big Jesse has recorded two wins during his lengthy campaign that began in April, taking out the Gympie Southside Shop Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on September 7 and the Channel Seven Handicap (1600m) at Doomben, and Gollan is confident that the gutsy front-runner can give the Villiers Stakes a real shake this weekend.
“He will roll along and he is the horse that they will have to get past and he is certainly not there to make up the numbers,” Gollan told Sky Racing HQ.
“He makes the play and he likes to race like that.
“He won’t go too slow in front either, he will roll along and they will have to get past him.
“I think that he will run very well and the drop down to 54kg is a huge benefit for him.
“I’m hoping that the track down there suits him and hopefully it is a surface that he flourishes on.”
Listen Son has recorded all ten of his career wins on good or dead tracks and has an appalling record on rain affected going; with his eighth place finishes in the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1615m) at Doomben and the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup (1300m) on the Gold Coast his best performances in the wet.
Gollan has been forced to scratch Listen Son on two occasions in the past month due to storms in Brisbane and is hoping that the rain doesn’t follow him to Sydney for the Villiers Stakes on Saturday.
“His form is pretty simple – dry ground he is good in anything that we put him in but wet ground he is absolutely horrible,” Gollan said.
“He is terrible on wet ground and we have had no luck up here with the storms; he has been in but he is now six weeks between runs.
“There is nothing ventured, nothing gained so we will head to Sydney and hope we have a bit more luck with the weather.”
Gollan is chasing just his second victory at Group level in Sydney after taking out the 2012 Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) with Temple Of Boom.