Group 1 options for Weir’s in-form mare

3 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Former Western Australian mare Whispering Brook (Hinchinbrook) went to another level at Moonee Valley on Friday evening with a blistering run to have trainer Darren Weir in two minds as to where she goes next.

The 5-year-old remained unbeaten this preparation in claiming top honours in the G2 Mortimer Petroleum Australia S. to leave her champion handler with one certainty in mind – chasing a Group 1 victory.

However, he remains unsure which state that will be in with a decision to be made whether it be a return to South Australia or remain in Melbourne.

“We could set her for the Group 1 in Adelaide (Sangster S.) that she ran fifth in last season and map something out around that,” Weir said.

Another attractive option for the mare, who has won five of her seven starts since relocating from Simon Millar’s Ascot yard, is the G1 Orr S. at Caulfield next month.

“We could set her for the Group 1 in Adelaide." - Darren Weir

“We’ll have to think about that for Whispering Brook,” Weir said. “It’s a Group 1 race and a good one to see if she can run out a strong 1400 metres.”

Whispering Brook jumped well to settle in the trail and when the breaks went her way in the running she was good enough to capitalise.

Darren Weir was in high spirits following Whispering Brook's win

“She had a lovely run and coming to the corner she had a shake-up and she got the gap and won really well,” Weir said.

“She won first-up and that was a little unexpected, she was quite big, and she took good progress from her last start so she’s taking nice steps.”

"She took good progress from her last start so she’s taking nice steps." - Darren Weir

Capably handled by Mark Zahra, Whispering Brook was into clear air before the turn and she was willing in the straight to prove too strong for Fell Swoop (Not A Single Doubt) and the winner’s stablemate Land Of Plenty (Stratum) hit the line strongly for third.

Whispering Brook is a daughter of Artful Whisper (USA) (Machiavellian {USA}), who is a half-sister to the stakes winner High Maintenance (USA) (Danehill {USA}).

Artful Whisper’s dam Speak Softly To Me (USA) (Ogygian {USA} is herself a half-sister to the former champion European 2-year-old and G1 Cheveley Park S. winner Pas De Reponse (USA) (Danzig {USA}).

Whispering Brook

Meanwhile, earlier on the Moonee Valley card Lankan Star (Nicconi) gave her G1 Blue Diamond S. hopes a boost when she beat the favourite Hulk (I Am Invincible), a brother to his G1 William Reid S. winning stablemate Hellbent, convincingly in the Happy Birthday Pat Egan 2YO.

“She has grown and matured and we rode her quietly,” co-trainer Ben Hayes said.

“She had to go around them all and on the line she won quite easily. She’ll head toward the Prelude now.”

Lankan Star had finished runner-up on debut in the G3 Bumble S. in the spring before Lindsay Park put her aside to strengthen.

“She ran on Melbourne Cup Day when the heavens opened and she’s matured and grown a bit,” Hayes said.

Lankan Star is the first winner produced by Clearwater Bay (Stratum), who is out of a half-sister to the two-time Irish Listed winner Katiykha (IRE) (Darshaan {GB}) who is the dam of the G2 Blandford S. winner Katiyra (IRE) (Peintre Celebre {GB}).