Talented stallion Whittington has closed his racing career in the best way possible at Doomben Racecourse this afternoon, mustering an impressive final straight sprint to take out the Listed Lightning Handicap (1050m).
Jumping from the gates only fairly, jockey Ric McMahon was forced to settle Whittington at the tail of the field of ten; allowing early leaders Rocky King, Thinkhesaurus and Prettyfamous to stride out to a clear early lead at step a quick pace.
Hugging the rails rounding the bend, the Tale Of The Cat entire appeared to be blocked for a run and facing too great a task to return to the winner’s circle in the Lightning Handicap, but quickly spooled up and charged through a gap on the inside of the field; pulling comfortably clear in the final 100m to hit the line a length ahead of Rocky King; the Tony Gollan-trained The Storeman boxing on for third after receiving a good run in transit.
Having now posted four wins and two minors over just 17 career starts, Whittington began his racing tenure under the guidance of Gai Waterhouse; passing through the Rosehill stables of Chris Waller before arriving in the care of John Thompson at the conclusion of his 2014 campaign.
Trialling well in the lead-up to his 2015 return, Whittington ran a credible fifth in the Coke Zero Handicap (1050m) at Doomben first-up on February 7th but was unable to make anything of an impact when only managing 13th in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield three weeks later.
Having progressed to twelfth in the Listed Chief De Beers (1110m) on April 11th, a promising performance for fourth in the Listed Bribie Handicap (1000m) on May 16th was enough to convince Thompson the four-year-old was up for another tilt at black type level this afternoon.
Rocky King set a fast pace away from the barrier in the Lightning Handicap but was unable to withstand Whittington’s late charge when finishing second.
Having rounded the bend in prime positon, The Storeman looked to be the race’s winner only 300m from home but was seemingly unable to kick up another gear when asked for an extra effort by jockey Tim Bell.
Having been purchased by stud interests, Whittington has likely ended his racing career with success in the Lightning Handicap.