A day after the anniversary of his son Jay’s death, Jim Litt has trained Song And Laughter to an emotional win at Canterbury.
With Litt in his native New Zealand, stable representative and Litt’s son Richard said it had been a tough year for his family.
“We lost my brother 12 months ago yesterday so it’s pretty emotional,” he said.
Song And Laughter, the $4.40 equal favourite for the Tab.com.au Handicap (1900m) on Saturday, was given a near-perfect ride from Jason Collett, who hugged the rails to poke through and defeat German import Singing ($7.50) on his Australian debut.
The Chris Waller-trained Loophole ($7) was a length away in third.
Litt said the tight-turning Canterbury track and heavy going was key to reversing Song And Laughter’s fortunes after beating only one runner home at her last start at Rosehill a week ago.
“I think getting her away from Rosehill helps a lot,” Litt said.
“She likes these tight turning tracks where she can relax and get back.”
Litt said it was on his father’s advice Song And Laughter raced on a one-week back up.
“Dad said, ‘Back her up. She didn’t do too much last start’,” Litt said.
Singing’s trainer, Kris Lees, said he would now consider a tilt at his home town Group Three Newcastle Cup – a race that has eluded him.
“He did look the winner but we have to remember he’s only had three starts in two years,” he said.
A torrid run of injury has limited his career but his first-up return impressed Lees.