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SUNDAY: May 3, 2020: TO say Psicopatico has been a work in progress would be an understatement!

But Hawkesbury husband and wife training partnership Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard’s perseverance finally paid off at Newcastle yesterday – and they loved it!

Having his ninth start and minus any previous placings, Psicopatico ($8), with Keagan Latham aboard, finished strongly to defeat $31 chance Kandos Tiger and $2.70 favorite Torrid in the Maiden Handicap (900m).

Psicopatico (Italian for psychopath) isn’t anti-social like a human namesake, but the son of Bernardini and Love Her Madly certainly has had his problems.

Thus his breakthrough, understandably, meant a lot to Team Attard, who outlaid $75,000 to buy him at the 2017 Magic Millions yearling sale.

“He was the first yearling Lucy and I bought,” Jason Attard explained today.

“We were actually waiting to look at an Epaulette filly from the same draft when this horse (Psicopatico) was brought out of his box.

“He had a real presence about him and, as Lucy liked the stock of his sire Bernardini and being out of a Carnegie mare, we decided to go for him.

“I guess it was meant to be!”

Named by one of Psicopatico’s former owners (Italian, of course), the gelding started off with Jason Attard but didn’t initially race for him and found his way into the stable of Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller at Rosehill Gardens.

“He trialled twice for me and his second trial at Hawkesbury in December, 2017 was brilliant,” Attard recalled.

“Psicopatico didn’t race as a two-year-old and started only once with Chris when unplaced at Newcastle the following September as an early three-year-old.

“He was apparently developing a problem in the barriers, and came back to our stable.

“We got that sorted out but unfortunately after his second start for me (an encouraging fifth in a 1300m Kembla Grange Maiden Plate on February 5 last year), we found he had chipped a bone in his knee and required an operation and didn’t race again for nine months.”

Attard gave due credit to his wife for the decision to bring him back in distance yesterday after two runs back over 1100m on his home track in March and April.

“Psicopatico has had a tendency to over-race and Lucy felt running him over the shorter distance wouldn’t give him the opportunity to do that, knowing he would get run off his feet early” he said.

“We went to Newcastle not thinking he was a good thing but expecting him to run well, and Keegan, who is in brilliant form, gave him a great ride.

“It was fantastic to see him finally win a race, and hopefully he can go on with it now.”

The Attards nearly went home with a Newcastle double as $3.50 second favorite Reiby’s Regent, also partnered by Latham, later in the day narrowly failed to pick up Lancaster Bomber ($12) in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m).

Latham asked stewards to delay posting correct weight to permit him to view footage relating to an incident rounding the home turn, but after doing so decided not to lodge an objection against the winner.

Psicopatico was the couple’s sixth winner of the season, and Jason Attard said he and his wife were happy with the manner in which the stable was performing.

“We’ve got a nice bunch of horses, but even better than that, we’ve got a great team working with us,” he said.

“They put in 100 per cent and are good positive people.

“That is so important in this industry.”