Jumps regime to put spark in Shalmaneser

By: Chris Barclay Wednesday 13 December 20

Richard Litt hopes a tweaked training regime can have Shalmaneser jumping out of his skin to snap a winless streak at Randwick.

The seven-year-old gelding has gone 20 starts without winning and the Warwick Farm-based trainer believes his confidence has taken a knock since a succession of failures in black-type races.

Shalmaneser won his most recent race in May last year, and Litt thought that drought could be broken in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) thanks to a reworked lead-in.

"We've been training him like we're getting ready for Cheltenham in England, there's been plenty of jumping and he thrives on it," Litt said.

"We've been working him very hard and hopefully that'll work. We're pretty soft on our horses, so we're trying the opposite."

Litt took over training Shalmaneser from Jason Attard in April and admits the bar was set too high.

After two starts with Litt, Shalmaneser finished sixth and ninth in the Group Two Hill Stakes and Group Three Craven Plate respectively.

"We started straight off running him in big races and I think it took its toll," he said.