Respected trainer Aiden St Vincent has endured successive feature race misfortunes but returns to Rosehill Gardens on Saturday with compelling form and circumstances finally favourable for comeback galloper Lisztomania.
The talented five-year-old, scratched at the barrier when hot favourite for the northern leg of the Newhaven Park Country Championships in February at Grafton, was set to resume at headquarters last Saturday but was withdrawn from an extreme outside draw.
In this week’s strong $120,000 Class 3 TAB Highway, 1200m, which is support to a tremendous Golden Eagle raceday, Lisztomania has barrier four and 59.5kg for gun apprentice Dylan Gibbons.
Coffs Harbour’s St Vincent is a Highway original.
Three years ago his star mare Hellenism came through the series flying but tragically went amiss and was scratched raceday when a hot favourite for another Championships qualifier at Grafton.
She eventually had to be retired. But Aiden rolls with the punches.
“It’s certainly been character building but you can’t dwell on the reversals in this game, just move on,” he offered.
“This gelding has had ongoing hoof problems, hereditary from the dam’s side, it’s constant management and patience.
“He’s finally where we want him getting back to the races. We certainly weren’t going to run him first-up last week from barrier 18 after all the time it’s taken to get him right.
“So we planned for this one.”
Lisztomania races in bar plates and a synthetic hoof filler.
“Special heart-shaped plates have allowed us to keep on top of issues but aside he’s also run into some pretty smart ones.”
Lisztomania sure has. In an April Highway he was beaten a neck by Bianco Vilano who won the Albury Championships qualifier before failing behind Front Page, now a dual Kosciuskzo winner.
“When we went to Doomben last prep he was beaten a head by Arentee, it’s won six from 18 on city tracks.
”I’d have thought as good a form as in the race. All of that, and Dylan’s hunger, we’re coming with expectations.
“Dylan’s ridden him before, the key is keeping him in his comfort zone from the draw and not exposed too early. That happened when Bianco Vilano got him late.
“You can’t dig him up or he races too aggressively. But city Highway form, Dylan would be more than likely to tell us than us tell him.
“Four last start winners says it’s a strong form race and Highways are a lot harder to win nowadays.”
Leading contenders are Dollar Magic ($7.50) off a city Benchmark 78 second which is proven Highway form, last start series winner Bandi’s Boy ($5) and ACT’s dual winner Lyrical Beauty ($11).
An interesting back-up from last Saturday is Love Shuck ($7) who featured prominently in the stewards report as unable to secure a clear run, where it was backed from $12 to $5.50.
St Vincent is highly respected since taking over training from his father Paul who trained regional racing great The Jackal, a Group and dual Ramornie winner.
– Racing NSW