Star Thoroughbreds might be moving forward with Chris Waller, but Denise Martin and her former trainer Gai Waterhouse were in hot form at the Gold Coast on Saturday with feature wins early in the day for Whittington (3c Tale of the Cat x Maha Chakri, by Beautiful Crown) and Driefontein (4m Fastnet Rock x Follow Gold, by Export Gold), who won the $2million 2YO Classic in 2012.
Exciting sprinter Whittington proved too slick for his rivals in the $200,000 Myer Magic Millions Sprint (1100m).
Sent out the favourite, Whittington sat on the speed throughout before hitting the front in the straight and holding out his rivals for a strong first up win.
In winning, Whittington broke the track record – covering the 1100 metre trip in a blistering 1 minute 1.77 seconds in beating Emmalene by a neck.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse was thrilled the performance of the son of Tale of the Cat who was racing for the first time since running third in the Listed ATC Heritage Stakes in October.
“He was a really high class young horse and he’s really come of age now,” Waterhouse said.
“We came here to make an impact – not only in the sale ring, but also the racetrack and here we are.”
Waterhouse predicted bigger and better things from Whittington, who will return to Sydney for more short course feature events.
“He’s a very, very good horse and you’ll see him in some of the big sprints.”
The first runner for the stakes winning Beautiful Crown mare Maha Chakri, Whittington was bred and sold by Patinack Farm for $145,000 at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
He was purchased by Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds, the same outfit which also purchased today’s Fillies and Mares Handicap winner Driefontein.
“It’s a great day and it proves that if you do your homework you can find some great horses over the road and have some wonderful success,” Martin said.
Fastnet Rock mare Driefontein has been an outstanding money-spinner for her owners.
Plucked from the Widden Stud draft for just $75,000, Driefontein she has won six of 20 starts and $1.8 million in prizemoney.