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The addition of blinkers and a tongue tie could see Whispering Brook return to her winning two year old form when she lines up in the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.

Santa Ana Lane, above in blue and yellow colours, is well in contention for the 2017 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos

Santa Ana Lane, above in blue and yellow colours, is well in contention for the 2017 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos

Whispering Brook was the winner of her first five race starts but hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since her two year old season after taking out the 2016 Group 3 $200,000 W.A. Sires’ Produce Stakes at Ascot.

The Hinchinbrook four year old has been placed twice from her last four starts with a third in the Listed $100,000 Birthday Stakes (1200m) at Belmont four starts back on October 7 and a third in the Group 3 $150,000 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) at Ascot two runs back on November 4.

Whispering Brook is coming off a last start sixth to Winterbottom Stakes favourite State Solicitor in the Group 3 $150,000 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) at Ascot on November 18 and trainer Simon Miller is hoping the blinkers and the tongue tie will help her find that winning form again.

“It’s her grand final and I’ve never put blinkers on her, so I thought I’d have a throw at the stumps,” Miller told The West Australian.

“She was playing around with her tongue a fair bit behind the gates last start, so the tongue tie goes on to alleviate that risk.”

Whispering Brook will be ridden by Jason Brown and will jump from gate eight which will suit her after Miller said before the barrier draw that a position outside of five would be ideal.

“She probably needs to draw five or worse so she can build momentum when we want to. When she’s locked in on the inside she can’t sprint off the mark,” Miller said.

Whispering Brook is listed at $26 at Ladbrokes.com.au and Miller will also saddle up $17 chance Caipirinha in the Winterbottom Stakes.

Joseph Azzopardi takes the ride again on Caipirinha who has drawn one from the outside at barrier twelve in the thirteen horse field.

Early betting for the 2017 Winterbottom Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3 State Solicitor, $4 Viddora, $6.50 Rock Magic, $7.50 Santa Ana Lane, $11 Fuhryk, $15 Dainty Tess, $17 Caipirinha, $21 Profit Street, $26 Durendal, Malibu Style, Whispering Brook, $61 Dream Lifter, $81 The River.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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