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Gai Waterhouse has added blinkers to the gear of her promising Tale Of The Cat colt Whittington for their race return in Saturday’s San Domenico Stakes 2013 in Sydney.
One of nine three-year-olds in the mix for this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Smithfield RSL Club San Domenico Stakes (1100m), young Whittington races for the first time since their failed effort in the Golden Slipper.
Having shown good early promise with runs like their Breeders Plate win on debut last October, second in the Canonbury Stakes in February and Lonhro Stakes success at Warwick Farm they were a $16 shot in the $3 million Slipper.
They could only manage to run 13th to stablemate Overreach however before being sent out for a spell.
In an attempt to sharpen them up and switch them on for the spring Waterhouse will run them first-up with blinkers in the San Domenico where they are drawn ideally in gate three with Nash Rawiller to ride.
“He’s a very exciting colt,” Waterhouse told AAP.
“I decided to put blinkers on on Saturday to get him to focus. Not that he will need them constantly, but they will be good for him on Saturday.”
Whittington is one of the top fancies in the markets for the Rosehill Gardens feature too paying $4.40.
They trail only the Peter Snowden-trained Golden Slipper runner-up Sidestep ($3.20) who also resumes here.
Waterhouse’s runner has had two barrier trials leading up to their return and their trainer is hoping this will give them the edge.
Waterhouse is keen to see what Whittington brings to their new season debut on Saturday before confirming their spring assignments.
“We’ll wait and see. A lot of these horses have got to prove themselves in the next few weeks,” she said.
She is however considering them for a shot at the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) back at the track on September 14 but is unsure how they will stack up.
“The Golden Rose is a lot like the Golden Slipper and the horses who were competitive in the Golden Slipper will be the ones who’ll be competitive in the Golden Rose,” Waterhouse added.
The San Domenico Stakes has been able to throw out a spring champion or two over recent years including last year’s winner Snitzerland and Foxwedge in 2011.
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