On The Watch

Whispering Brook produces fast sectionals in promising first-up win at Flemington

Having her first start since fifth in the Robert Sangster Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Morphettville in May, Whispering Brook raced close to the speedy leader Rocket Tommy (Hold That Tiger), got to the front at the 200 metres and then dug deep to score by a head in a time of 1:03.25 on the soft 5 track.

That time represents a 200 metre rate of 11.50, equivalent to 1200 metres in 1:09, smart in the affected conditions but it was Whispering Brook’s sectionals that really took the eye.

Clocked from the 1000 metres, her 200 metre breakdown was: 10.93, 10.76 (400m in 21.69), 10.51 (600m in 32.20) 11.00 (800m in 43.20) with her final 200 metres in 11.50 to give Whispering Brook a fast last 1000 metre time of 54.70.

When trained in West Australia by Simon Miller, Whispering Brook won the Gimcrack Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m), the Karrakatta Plate (Gr 2, 1200m) and the WA Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) as a two-year-old and was third in the Thousand Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) at Caulfield at three.

Since joining the Darren Weir team earlier this year, Whispering Brook has now raced five times for three wins, including the Abell Stakes (Listed, 1200m) at Moonee Valley in March, when having her first start for her new stable and is clearly a quality mare.

The runner-up, the Patrick Payne-trained gelding Invincible Al (I Am Invincible) recorded fast closing sectionals in finishing on well late after being back in 11th place at the 600 metres.

Invincible Al was timed to run his last 1000 metres in 54.33, last 800 metres in 43.46, last 600 metres in 32.72, last 400 metres in 22.51 with his final 200 metres in 11.35.

Earlier in the day at Flemington, the Darren Weir-trained colt Yes Yes Yes (Rubick) created quite an impression in winning the Two-Year-Old Plate (1100m).

Having his second race start after a promising debut when second to the talented filly Brooklyn Hustle (Starspangledbanner) at Moonee Valley on December 1, Yes Yes Yes settled just behind the leaders, hit the front at the 200 metres and then went on to score comfortably by a length and half.

Time for the 1100 metres was 1:04.72 (11.77 200m rate), equivalent to 1:10.66 for 1200 metres.

Yes Yes Yes was timed to run his last 1000 metres in a very smart 56.01, last 800 metres in 44.90, last 600 metres in 33.65, last 400 metres in 22.62 with his final 200 metres in 11.62.

Weir subsequently commented that he felt Yes Yes Yes would be seen at his best as a three-year-old, but being purchased at the Gold Coast, the colt remains a likely contender for next month’s rich Magic Millions 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m).

At Doomben on Saturday, the winner of the aforementioned Magic Millions 2YO Classic in 2017, Houtzen (I Am Invincible), recorded a brilliant victory in fast time in taking out the Bribie Handicap (Listed, 1050m).

Going straight to the front, Houtzen comfortably held the lead from the very speedy Tarzan (Drumbeats), sprinted clear on turning for home and went on to score decisively by almost three lengths.

Time for the 1050 metre journey was 58.83 (11.20 200m rate), equivalent to 56.02 for 1000 metres, which bettered the Doomben track record for that distance by 0.34 seconds.

Houtzen’s 200 metre breakdown (from the 800 metres) demonstrated the brilliance of the performance: 10.30, 10.29, 10.88 and 11.43 – which is 42.90 for her final 800 metres, 32.60 (last 600m) and 22.31 for her last 400 metres.

It was Houtzen’s first start since an unlucky sixth in the Manikato Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 26, so the Toby Edmonds-trained mare is likely to be improved by the run, suggesting she is likely to prove very effective in more sprints in upcoming features in Queensland.

In the Gold Edition Plate (Listed, 1200m), the Tony Gollan-trained three-year-old Zoustyle (Zoustar) recorded his fifth win in as many starts with another outstanding effort at Doomben.

Quickly overcoming a wide draw to lead due to his brilliant pace, Zoustyle dashed away on straightening and safely held off his stablemate Outback Barbie (Spirit Of Boom) to score by just under a length in the fast time of 1:08.23.

Zoustlye’s 200 metre breakdown (from the 1000m) was 10.50, 11.07, 10.90, 10.92 and 11.79 which gave the gelding impressive closing times of 55.18 (last 1000m), 44.68 (last 800m), 33.61 (last 600m) and 22.71 for his final 400 metres.

The runner-up Outback Barbie also returned quick sectionals in coming from well back in the field, clocking 54.77 (last 1000m), 43.99 (last 800m), 32.93 (last 600m) 22.21 (last 400m) with her final 200 metres in 11.17.

Racing in Sydney was highlighted by the running of the Villiers Stakes (Gr 2, 1600m) which saw Sky Boy (Pendragon) cap his progressive rise through the classes in recording his fifth win in succession, his first at stakes level, in a time of 1:36.39 on a soft 6 track.

Sky Boy had a good trip in fourth place before holding out Aloisia (Azamour) and score by a half-neck.

The Villiers was run much quicker in the early part of the race than the latter with the leader Fabrizio (High Chaparral) setting a fast pace, clocking (from the 1400m) 21.93 (400m), 33.86 (600m), 45.84 (800m), 58.04 (1000m) and 1:10.31 for the 1200 metres, from the 1400 metres to the 200 metres before fading for ninth.

So it took a solid staying effort for Sky Boy to come off that tempo and win with the runner-up Aloisia also doing well, running her best race for some time, in coming from the tail of the field.

The $500,000 Inglis Nursery (RL, 1000m) went to the Chris Waller-trained colt Accession (Brazen Beau) who impressed in winning at his second race start.

He fought on well after being handy most of the way to win by just under a length in a time of 59.16 on the soft 6 track, clocking 45.71 (last 800m), 35.25 (last 600m) and 24.04.

On The Watch was taken by the effort of the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained colt Strasbourg (I Am Invincible), who settled near the tail of the field from a wide barrier before making considerable ground for second.

Strasbourg was timed to run his last 800 metres in 45.57, last 600 metres in 34.97 with his final 400 metres in 23.61 – the attractive colt looks to have a bright future.