By Glenn Davis
Whypeeo defied wet tracks fears to stamp himself a genuine Brisbane winter carnival contender with a dominant win in the Listed Mick Dittman Plate at Doomben on Saturday.
Whypeeo, ridden by premier jockey Jeff Lloyd, led all the way to down Meikas by four lengths with Godolphin’s Marble in third place, a further three-quarters of a length away.
Winning trainer Toby Edmonds admitted his biggest fear with Whypeeo was how the three-year-old would handle a heavy track after it was downgraded from a slow 7 following early showers during the meeting.
Prior to claiming his second Listed race win, Whypeeo had never raced on a rain-affected track with all four previous wins in eight starts coming on dry surfaces.
Whypeeo will now chase bigger winter riches and will likely have his next start in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) on May 5.
Whypeeo was having his first start since a fading fourth in the Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast in January but was primed for a first-up win following an easy barrier trial win on his home track.
Edmonds admitted he was relieved with how Whypeeo coped with the conditions.
“It’s a big relief as I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the wet as I rate him better on top of the ground,” Edmonds said.
“He’ll probably go the Gold Coast Guineas next and I’ll see how he’s going at the time whether to push on to the bigger races like the 10,000 and Stradbroke.”
Meanwhile talented filly Pennino confirmed plans to target the rich winter juvenile riches with an all the way win in the Two-Year-Old Plate (1050m).
Pennino was having her first start since scoring at the Sunshine Coast in late January and proved too strong, downing the fast finishing Wicked Ways by a half head.
Sizzling Ace ran home strongly for third, only a half neck.
Pennino’s win gave Caloundra trainer Darryl Hansen a race-to-race double after Yarrapower claimed the Benchmark 75 Handicap (1050m).
Hansen has a good opinion of Pennino who has won three of her four starts and was confident of a first up success despite a pre-race downpour which forced a track downgrade to heavy.
“I galloped her with Yarrapower during the week and she blew him away so I thought she’d go close to winning after Yarrapower won earlier,” Hansen said.
Hansen is hopeful Pennino will run 1600 metres like her full brother Balboa Rocks and plans to target the Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) and Group 1 J J Atkins (1600m) at Doomben during the winter.
“I’ll aim her now for the (Group 2) Champagne Stakes next start and then the Sires’ Produce,” Hansen said.
“I’ll throw in a nom for the J J Atkins as well and see how well she can improve.”
Hansen’s double compensated for the loss of his promising sprinter Bat A Kat who will miss his Queensland Guineas campaign after undergoing knee surgery.
Hansen’s star sprinter Monsieur Gustave will launch his Stradbroke Handicap campaign in the Group 2 Victory Stakes at Doomben next Saturday.
Racing Queensland webnews April 21