Trainer Chris Waller has revealed that Whittington is unlikely to take his place in the 2014 Concorde Stakes due to concerns about the Royal Randwick track.
Whittington joined the Waller stable at the end of his autumn preparation, after previously being prepared by Gai Waterhouse, and was set to make his debut for his new stable in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 23, but was withdrawn from the race due to the heavy track.
Waller said that the Royal Randwick track would have to improve significantly for Whittington to run in the Concorde Stakes and he indicated that he may save the Tale Of The Cat entire for the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens next weekend.
“Barrier 11 on a wet track is a yucky situation to be in,” Waller said.
“I have scratched him already this prep and I am not that keen about running him again unless the track is definitely on the better side of slow.
“Even then we would look at saving him for either the 1200 next week or perhaps the 1100 metres at Caulfield.
“He is a good horse and he is capable of winning a Group 1 in a handicap, but we don’t need to panic and we just need to make sure that he is in the right races ready to run.”
While Whittington is unlikely to contest the Group 3 event, there is still plenty of talent in the 2014 Concorde Stakes field and it is set to be a very competitive betting race.
The Godolphin duo of Sessions and Safeguard are on top of the weights in the Concorde Stakes and will both be returning to the races after failing to record a race win during their autumn preparation.
Veteran sprinter Rain Affair will also be returning to the races after a stint in the spelling paddock, while Gary Portelli-trained I’m All The Talk has not been seen at the races since he finished sixth in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September 21.
One of the most interesting runners in the Concorde Stakes field is Aussies Love Sport, who had just one race start during the autumn when he finished at the tail of the field in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 15.
Aussies Love Sport won the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) as a three-year-old and he showed that he is ready for his return to racing with an impressive barrier trial performance at Randwick on August 23.
Sessions ($4.20) and Atmospherical ($4.20) are currently locked in a battle for favouritism in the 2014 Concorde Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes Australia, while there has been a sprinkling of support for Target In Sight ($6.50), Rain Affair ($8) and Whittington ($8).