Horses To Follow » Willie The Whipper

Willie The Whipper

There was a lot to like about the performance that Willie The Whipper put up in only going down narrowly to the talented Sharestan in the Listed Doonside Cup over a mile and a quarter at Ayr on Saturday.

The ground was on the easy side, but it was not as soft as Ann Duffield’s colt likes it. By Whipper, one of the strongest influences for soft ground in Europe, all three of his good runs as a two-year-old were on heavy ground, and it is probably a case of the softer the better for him. Also, the slow early pace was against him. He was held up last of the seven runners, which was not ideal, and he is more of a grinder than a quickener, so he probably wasn’t at all suited by the fact that it turned into a bit of a sprint up the home straight. He got a bit tapped for toe when the sprint began, whereas Sharestan picked up nicely a furlong and a half out and took several lengths out of Willie The Whipper. Jamie Spencer kept at his horse though, he stayed on really well, and he would have got even closer to Sharestan had he not hung in behind him a little inside the final 100 yards. Straightened out by his rider, he closed all the way to the line and just missed out.

Sharestan is a high-class horse on his day. He had plenty of form on easy ground when he was trained by John Oxx, so the ground here was no problem for him, and several of the higher profile Godolphin horses have won first time back this season after running in Dubai. He was obviously ready to go here, and this was probably a really good effort from Willie The Whipper to get so close to him under the circumstances.

The Qatar Racing colt remains a horse with significant potential, and he will be of major interest now on even softer ground and off a stronger pace. He should stay a mile and a half. It was probably the ground rather than the trip that caused his slightly disappointing run in the Great Voltigeur Stakes on his previous start.

21st September 2013