The David Hayes-trained Whisper Downs will try to emulate his sire Churchill Downs in the Group Two Bill Stutt Stakes following the gelding’s impressive win at Moonee Valley.
Whisper Downs made it two wins from four starts in the Chandler Macleod Hcp (1500m), having won an 1100m three-year-old maiden on the Geelong synthetic track two starts back.
A $48,000 Adelaide Magic Millions yearling sale purchase by BC3 Thoroughbreds, Hayes later bought him at a breeze up sale for stable clients and retained a share.
He said he had a good opinion of Whisper Downs as well as his sire who he trained to controversially win on protest from Magic Jet in the 2006 Stutt Stakes before he finished fourth to Wonderful World in the Caulfield Guineas.
“He (Whisper Downs) breezed up beautifully last year. I think that there is a perception that the BC3 horses are two-year-olds but this horse will be at his best as a four-year-old,” Hayes said.
“This horse has been beautifully educated and has gone right on with it.
“I like this horse. He’s similar to his sire except Churchill Downs is an entire. I’m a fan of Churchill Downs as well. I’ve had a couple of winners by him this week.”
Churchill Downs, who won the Widden Stakes at Randwick as a two-year-old, was Group One-placed at three when third to Gold Edition in the Ascot Vale Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
Hayes said the horse was retired as he was unsound after his autumn three-year-old campaign.
“I’ll run Whisper Downs in the Bill Stutt and if he runs well we’ll go for the Guineas,” the trainer said.
“I reckon he’s got a nice future.”
Ridden by Dwayne Dunn, Whisper Downs ($10) settled fifth and swept around the leaders on the home turn before going on for a 2-1/2-length win over Zabeelionaire ($15), who settled last of the 10 runners, with Costly Commitment ($9) a length away third.
The big disappointments of the race were Do You Think ($3.40 fav) and The New Boy ($3.80) who weakened to finished eighth and sixth respectively.
Steven Arnold told stewards Do You Think was disappointing but added the Bart Cummings-trained Starcraft colt was immature and was a little stirred up pre-race.
The Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) is run under lights at Moonee Valley on September 30 while the $1 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) is on October 8.