The world’s richest race for juveniles is on the agenda for Gai Waterhouse’s lightly-raced colt Whittington who is being prepared for a shot at the 2013 Golden Slipper title in Sydney next April.
The Tale Of The Cat two-year-old debuted at Randwick this October running away to win the Listed NSW Thoroughbred Breeders Plate (1000m) by an easy three lengths with Tommy Berry in the saddle.
Turned back out to the paddock to mature and grow ahead of next year’s Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, Whittington will be aimed at the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 6, 2013.
There is also a chance the Star Thoroughbreds-owned galloper will run in the 2013 Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast on way to the Golden Slipper.
“I’m putting him on that track but I’ll make up my mind in the next few weeks,” Waterhouse said of the Magic Millions.
“He looks great.”
Waterhouse won this year’s $2 million Magic Millions Classic back in January with classy Fastnet Rock filly Driefontein who was awarded the victory on protest over stablemate No Looking Back.
The MM Classic was Driefontein’s third win from as many career starts and she went on to make it four on the trot next start before her somewhat disappointing sixth to star stablemate Pierro in the Golden Slipper.
Driefontein had just one run this time in when finishing one and three quarter lengths away second to Golden Slipper runner-up Snitzerland in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 18 with regular rider Berry onboard.
Berry was back in Driefonten’s saddle when she won an 800m trial at Royal Randwick on Monday morning, the filly a chance of racing first-up back at the Gold Coast on Magic Millions Day 2013 in the $1 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) in mid-January.
“She’s definitely my favourite horse in at the moment,” Berry said.
“She’s come back very strong. I think the best thing that could have happened to her was getting tipped out after her first run.
“She’s a lot more switched on this preparation. She’s a proper racehorse and you can just feel when you gallop her now that we haven’t found the bottom to her yet.”
While in hindsight giving Driefontein just one run this campaign worked in the horse’s favour, Berry admitted it was hard to hear she wouldn’t be available for him to ride during the spring.
“It was disappointing at the time because we had big plans for her,” he said.
“She just lightened off a bit quick and her coat wasn’t 100 per cent after her first-up run. Gai said she was going to be running in top company so she had to be as good as we could get her.”
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