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The addition of blinkers to Whispering Brook’s race day gear will guarantee the mare sets a solid pace 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 one of the main chances in the 2017 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Santa Ana Lane, above in blue and yellow colours, is one of the main chances in the 2017 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Ascot trainer Simon Miller has made no secret that Whispering Brook will be revved up from barrier eight in the twelve horse Winterbottom Stakes field to find the fence and set the pace in the $1m sprint.

“If we can control the speed it’s to our advantage. That is for sure. I can guarantee Whispering Brook will find the fence,” Miller told Sky Racing’s Racing HQ.

“Probably the most important thing for her is that she is drawn the middle which means that when she is allowed to cruise along and have fresh air she can really ramp up and make it difficult for them to catch and that is what she do come Saturday.”

“She will burn along close to her top and when she is allowed to do that she is very very good.”

“She is at big odds and I really give her a great chance.”

Whispering Brook will also wear a tongue tie for the first after Miller became a bit concerned after the mare was seen playing with her tongue behind the barrier’s before running sixth to Winterbottom Stakes favourite State Solicitor in the Group 3 $150,000 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) at Ascot on November 18.

“I like to save the gear changes for big races, but more so the blinkers for her,” Miller said.

“Last start behind the barriers she kept flicking her tongue over forth and back, we have locked that down.”

“But the blinkers, I have always thought that some stage I would like to apply them and why not in a Group 1 Winterbottom.”

Jason Brown takes the mount on Whispering Brook while Joseph Azzopardi will ride Miller’s other Winterbottom Stakes runner, Caipirinha, who has drawn the outside gate.

Caipirinha ran second to State Solicitor in the Colonel Reeves Stakes and Miller is hoping the mare can ping the gates and sit outside of her stablemate on the pace.

“She has drawn wide and will need a bit of luck from that gate and we will know our fate in the first couple of hundred where she ends up,” Miller said.

“I would like her to end up outside the leader if possible which will be my stablemate.”

“She was brave the other day. She went down to State Solicitor, our best sprinter here and we were three wide, no cover and that run could have either flattened her or brought her on and it brought her on.”

“The positive with her is that every time she is in the zone she pinged the gate quickly and she did that last start and she hasn’t gone backwards since then so she will spring pretty quickly on Saturday, but she will need to from that gate.”

Miller rates the Grant and Alana Williams trained State Solicitor as the best sprinter in Perth and the one to beat but also highly rates last start Group 1 Sir Rupert Clark Stakes winner Santa Ana Lane from the Anthony Freedman stable.

“State Solicitor is probably our best sprinter here and he only got going late when he saw a little bit of room and hit the line so I fully respect him,” Miller said.

“I was really impressed with Santa Anna Lane’s work on Tuesday. So he will be back and striking. Of the locals I definitely think that the State is the superior sprinter.”

Miller is by no means conceding defeat and is expecting Whispering Brook and Caipirinha to be in the firing line for a long way.

“Both mares have done us proud thus far and hopefully they can go there on Saturday,” Miller said.

“There is a sense of timing for both and now I just need a bit of luck.”

“They are at big odds but they are both major players and if one of them was to bob up it wouldn’t surprise.”

“Both horses are fit and healthy and they are ready.”

State Solicitor is holding his spot at the top of the market order for the Winterbottom Stakes at $2.90 with Ladbrokes.com.au while Whispering Brook is marked at $18 and Caipirinha at $20.

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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