By Tony Megahey
Widely-travelled Aiden St Vincent brings proud country racing traditions and diverse family sporting talents to Royal Randwick with outsiders So Shy and Clarendon House into a TAB $60,000 Class 3 (1400m) Highway Handicap on Saturday.
Raised in Tamworth by a golfing professional father Paul, turned horse breaker and race trainer, Aiden had stints in Western Australian and the Sunshine Coast and has returned to train a small team at Coffs Harbour. So Shy to be ridden by Rachael Murray and Clarendon House by Nikita Beriman are Aiden’s first starters in Sydney.
Paul St Vincent has had a long and successful association pre-training and training for entrepreneur and prolific breeder Gerry Harvey. His young sons Aiden and Kane were his trackwork riders and talented young football players. Paul eventually gave both a start in race training.
And for Aiden, Paul and one of the finest sprinters every to grace a country racetrack, remain his inspiration. The Jackal is revered in Northern Rivers racing.
“The Jackal was so very special for our family, friends and the Tamworth community - just marvellous memories. Gave us all career opportunities,” Aiden recalled.
“He won successive Ramornie’s-won Group and Listed races in two states. Kane and I rode him in all his work and took him to the races with dad who was a really talented sportsman.
“They were fantastic times, coming back home after he won those big races, the whole town used to follow him.”
The Jackal amassed well over $1 million, winning the 2009 Group 3 Star Kingdom at Rosehill Gardens, the Falvelon Quality at Eagle Farm, the 2007-08 Ramornie Handicaps at Grafton ridden by Robert Thompson on his way to Hall of Fame status.
“Gerry Harvey bred him, Dad took a liking to him at the sales, but he couldn’t afford the twenty-odd grand. So he asked Gerry if he could pay him later and that was fine with Gerry. He’s always been like that, great supporter for so many in country racing.
“And The Jackal sure paid his way didn’t he? In this game you always hope one day, you’ll get something near that quality.”
While So Shy and Clarendon House can’t be mentioned in that league, Aiden has a decent opinion of both.
“So Shy has good ability and natural speed, forget his run the other day. He was taken on by something near out of control and over-raced really fierce.
“Before that, he led to win his maiden and a class three with something in hand and his sections were really smart. Without knowing the speed in the race just yet, I’d say we could lead or be right on-pace.
“Rachael has won on him twice, she knows how to rate them in front, so we can run a race. I’d nominated for a Highway a few weeks back but he’s a fitter horse now.
“Clarendon House is a get back and run-on type, but she’s got more ability than her form shows. She’s shown very good signs from a very long spell and was in at Tamworth the other day but they were called off before her race. This was our other option to get her ready for a ‘mile’ back up here.”
Again, the prolific series-winning stable of Matthew Dunn will be hard to beat with Vivid Pink and Isla Tristana after winning last week’s Rosehill Gardens Highway with Wallander. Astute young Cameron Crockett, who landed a well-planned plunge that day with Sharpe Hussler ($50 to $16), will also have plenty of admirers with promising dual winner Crim.