Whittington will return to Group 1 level in the 2015 Oakleigh Plate and trainer John Thompson is happy with the entire heading into the sprinting event at Caulfield this weekend.
Whittington joined the Thompson stable after previously being trained by Chris Waller at the start of 2015 and he made his debut for his new trainer with a luckless fifth place finish in the Coke Zero Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on February 7.
The Tale Of The Cat entire was set to remain in Queensland to contest the Listed Falvelon Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday, but Thompson changed his plans with the four-year-old and at the prompting of the horses owners sent him to Melbourne for the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
Thompson told Racing Ahead that he was confident Whittington would return to winning form in the Falvelon Handicap and he is confident that the potential stallion prospect can equit himself well in the 2015 Oakleigh Plate on Saturday.
“He is going well and he was actually up there last weekend and we thought that he was a super winning chance, but unfortunately it got washed up,” Thompson said.
“He was going to stay there and run again this weekend, but with the rain and the wet, he is just useless and no good, so the owners wanted to take him to Melbourne and give him a crack at that race.
“The horse goes well and he has proven that.
“It is his first race in Melbourne going in that direction and it is a little bit of an unknown there and also he has a two state trip to get there.
“It is a matter of how he comes through all that, but I can assure you that the horse was going well before he left and ready to win.
“It is just a matter of how he handles all that.”
Whittington will be returning to Group 1 level for the first time since he finished a more than credible fifth behind Tiger Tees in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens in March last year and is chasing his first race win since his narrow win in the Magic Millions Sprint a year ago.
Whittington is currently available at the lengthy 2015 Oakleigh Plate odds of $101 with Ladbrokes, while Earthquake ($5.50) is a narrow favourite from Vain Queen ($6), Atmospherical ($9) and Flamberge ($9.50).