Tough Toowoomba sprinter Listen Son showed his appreciation of home turf by turning his form around to win Listed $100,000 Keith Noud Quality (1200m) at Eagle Farm today.
The Tony Gollan-trained galloper appeared to have lost his way with a poor showing first up in the TAB.com.au Stakes at Flemington last start.
The horse they call “Moose” showed none of his usual zip when last to fellow Queenslander Woorim on Derby Day beaten 32 lengths.
Gollan quickly aborted Melbourne plans and is still perplexed by the poor display.
“He was very disappointing in Melbourne and I still don’t know why,” Gollan said.
“Today was a big question mark for us.
“I came to the races and didn’t know what to expect from him.”
Today jockey Scott Seamer led from the inside draw aboard five-year-old and set a slow speed in front.
The expected battle for the lead didn’t eventuate when usual front runner Faster Son was ridden from behind.
It gave Listen Son his chance though he still had to fend off race favourite Excellantes who had settled second on his outside.
The duo had an easy time until the 400m mark giving those behind little to no chance.
Excellantes headed Listen Son slightly in the straight but the Eagle Farm specialist fought back to win by a nose.
Third placegetter Essington was clearly the best run in the race.
He made four lengths on the top two in the home straight.
Six of Listen Son‘s eight wins have been at Eagle Farm.
In 14 starts at the track, he has missed a place on three occasions.
“He fights hard whenever he’s in that type of situation and he’ll go to the Summer Series races now,” Gollan said.
The series begins with the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) in a fortnight.
It is the same race planned for stablemate Spirit Of Boom who finished ninth to Listen Son.
Gollan was initially disappointed with Spirit Of Boom’s but was reassured after talking with jockey Ric McMahon.
“I’ve spoke to Ric and he wasn’t disappointed at all,” Gollan said.
“He reckons he’s run home the fastest last 400 metres better than anything else.”
While that is a stretch, Spirit Of Boom, like many, had little chance from the back.
Spirit Of Boom is also a chance of taking a New Zealand trip in the New Year.
The Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 1 and Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham on January 21 are both on the agenda.
Gollan revealed why Listen Son, a winner of just on $500,000 is called Moose.
“It is because he was a big hairy thing as a three-year-old,” he said.
|1||4||LISTEN SON||Tony Gollan||Scott Seamer||1||55.5kg||$13|
|2||10||EXCELLANTES||Robert Heathcote||Brad Stewart||0.1L||11||53kg||$3.50F|
|3||2||ESSINGTON||Darryl Hansen||Jason Taylor||1.1L||9||57.5kg||$7|
|4||7||OLLIE VOLLIE||Sue Grills||Timothy Bell (a)||1.3L||2||54.5kg||$26|
|5||11||BELLTONE||Kelso Wood||Chris Munce||2.1L||5||53kg||$8|
|6||12||READY TO RIP||Andrew Williamson||Ryan Wiggins||3L||10||53kg||$7.50|
|7||5||TIERQUALO||Kelly Doughty||Matthew Palmer||3.8L||4||55kg||$11|
|8||3||SHUFFLE THE CASH||Bryan Guy||Eddie Wilkinson||4L||3||56.5kg||$101|
|9||13||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Ric McMahon||4.5L||8||53kg||$5|
|10||6||LUCKY LUNA||Les Kelly||Justin P Stanley||6.8L||12||54.5kg||$101|
|11||9||FASTER SON||Trevor Bailey||Larry Cassidy||8.3L||7||53.5kg||$12|
|12||1||POOR JUDGE||Wayne Nugent||Glen Colless||10L||6||58.5kg||$21|
|8||WORK THE ROOM||Robert Heathcote||Paul Hammersley||0|