Horses To Follow » Whisper


Whisper was well-backed just before the off for the EBF Final at Sandown on Saturday, even though Edmund Kean, in the same colours, had been the one for money for most of the day. Whisper travelled well through the race behind the front five or six, he improved early in the back straight and he was even running freely on leaving the back straight. However, he just didn’t stay on through the heavy ground as well as his stable companion Close Touch, who powered through it, and he faded fairly badly, regressing from looking a likely winner at the top of the home straight to treading water up the hill before eventually getting home in fourth place. Even at that, he was still a long way clear of the fifth horse.

Whisper’s jumping has been a little novicey, but it had been better on his previous run at Ffos Las and it was better again here. He will be a better horse back on goodish ground when the emphasis is more on pace than stamina. He did win impressively twice at Ffos Las on heavy ground but he won his bumper by 15 lengths on good ground at the Welsh track and he could prove to be a well-handicapped horse when he encounters a sound surface again.

His run in the Grade 2 novice hurdle at Cheltenham in January, on just his third ever start and just his second over hurdles, was really encouraging. He faced a huge task there against The New One, Coneygree and At Fishers Cross and he didn’t help himself by dragging his hind legs through the first flight and racing really quite keenly for the first few furlongs, with the pace not quite as quick as might have been expected. His jumping remained novicey at times, but he was still going strongly coming down the hill, and he moved up looking a threat over the second last before just getting left behind when the pace quickened into the straight. He did keep on well, however, to finish fourth. That was a big run, and he has put in another big run now, a run which will perhaps be under-rated by many. He is only five, and he remains a very interesting horse.

9th March 2013