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Jason Livingstone returns to the winner's enclosure after long spell

8 December 2023

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By Jordan Gerrans

Bush trainer Jason Livingstone broke a lengthy winning drought at Goondiwindi on Saturday afternoon and in the process rewarded connections that have stuck with him through the lean years.

Gelding Torrential brought the Livingstone stable back to the winner’s enclosure for the first time since 2005 when the son of Manhattan Rain grabbed his maiden triumph.

Torrential had been knocking on the door with his two prior runs full of merit and he scored by more than a length in a 1100 metre event.

Livingstone’s number of starters have fluctuated in recent years as he has focussed his attention more on work than gallopers.

He has not had more than 11 starters in a campaign across the last decade.

Torrential’s win on Saturday was the stable’s first since Star Strike won a city race at Doomben in early 2005.

Star Strike won a Class 2 Handicap over a mile with Michael Pelling in the saddle.

“It has been a long time,” Livingstone said with a laugh.

“Wayne Wilson was the race caller. I had a pretty good trot after that with horses pulling prize money but I just could not break through and win races.

“The last few years I have had a few lovely horses but they just did not have much ability.”

Alisha Donald Next Racing

Star Strike's narrow victory as an outsider in the market is Livingstone’s sole winner in town in his time in racing.

The Livingstone name is entrenched in the code in the Sunshine State with Jason’s father Ian and sister Sharryn both preparing a team of gallopers.

Long-time regional racing officials Francine and Wayne Hancock are in the ownership group of Torrential and enjoyed the spoils on Saturday.

“They are involved with all the race clubs up here, Wondai, Kumbia and Nanango,” Livingstone said.

“They have been involved in horses with me for the last 20 years and actually that was the first winner we have had together with me training.

“They have been loyal to me for a long, long time and stuck with me through good horses and bad horses.”

Torrential had run in the money at his last two starts on the non-TAB circuit and was aided by a low barrier draw on Saturday with apprentice hoop Alisha Donald completing the job.

Donald has been riding the five-year-old gelding in his gallops once a week at Toowoomba’s Clifford Park when Livingstone makes the trip in from his Maidenwell base.

“He has been racing really well,” Livingstone said of Torrential.

“The run at Chinchilla was really good after drawing the outside gate and carrying 59.5kgs.

“He put in a tremendous run seeing as he was four wide the journey out there on that day.

“We expected him to go all right this week. He looks good and feels well.”

Livingstone has not plotted a path forward yet with the gelding but will find a suitable race in the coming weeks.

“He certainly looks like he will win a few more and a Class B will not be out of reach for him,” the trainer said.

Being based at Maidenwell, Livingstone has at times used the Toowoomba, Kumbia and Nanango tracks over the years to work his small team as well as riding them himself at his own property.

The hobby conditioner started out at Deagon before spending time at St George and is now training out of the South Burnett region.

On top of Torrential, he also has an Agitate youngster that is in the process of being broken in.

The card from Goondiwindi's Gunsynd Park on Saturday was headlined by the Port Of Brisbane Cup.

The day has become somewhat of a tradition in the area attracting visitors from near and far to the weekend of events.