Whistle Stop has stamped himself as a serious prospect for the 2016 Darwin Cup (2000m) with a dominant performance for success in the Chief Minister’s Cup (1600m) at Fannie Bay Racecourse over the weekend.
Whistle Stop was sent off a $21 outside in betting markets for the Chief Minister’s Cup, but did his chances of success no harm whatsoever when jumping well and taking an ideal position in transit on the heels of the race’s early leaders.
Experiencing an ideal run in transit, the Street Cry gelding immediately responded when asked for an extra effort by veteran hoop Stephen Ridler; mustering a huge late turn of foot to pull clear and comfortably find the line close to two lengths ahead of Alice Springs Cup champion Montalto.
Trainer Dick Leech was understandably pleased with Whistle Stop’s performance for success in the key form-indicating Chief Minister’s Cup, and is confident the horse will take plenty of benefit from the run in the lead-up to the 2016 Darwin Cup.
“He’s a better horse than people think” Leech told NT News.
“He went really well today. I took the blinkers off at his previous run as he was working well without them, I put them back on today and it did the trick.”
Whistle Stop has been a strong and consistent performer for Leech through his entire racing career; posting five wins and a further ten minors through thirty-three starts since debuting in late 2013.
Clearly requiring a run when failing to beat an opponent home in the Cardinia Shire Cup (1400m) upon resuming in January, Whistle Stop progressed to sixth in the Bet365 BM70 (1400m) and fifth in the Sportsbet Watch Live BM70 (1600m) before another mid-pack performance in the Le Pine Funerals BM70 (1800m) at Sandown on March 28th.
Placing fifth in his next three starts, including the Adelaide River Cup (1600m) on June 4th, Whistle Stop ran fourth in the Thirsty Camel BM73 (1600m) on July 2nd, in what was his only other start prior to the Chief Minister’s Cup.
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