"Talented" Lil Whip secures first win

By Michael Guerin

A team that has been winning trotting races for over 20 years combined to work out talented filly Lil Whip at Alexandra Park on Thursday night.

The three-year-old filly left maidens when downing stablemate Aldebaran D B in the Book Now for Mid-winter Christmas at Alexandra Park Mobile Trot and while the margin wasn’t huge the time told the story of the race.

Lil Whip trotted the 2200m mobile in a very quick 2:45.9 and that was part of the plan from driver Tony Herlihy.

He gave the daughter of Father Patrick a steady but stern warm up and then kept her mind on the job out of the gate but ducked for brief cover on the first bend.

He then won a spirited speed duel for the lead and kept Lil Whip trucking along quickly enough to keep her mind on the job, rather than galloping as she had in her previous two starts.

Hence the fast time and decreasing margin at the line but co-trainer Michelle Wallis says Lil Whip hasn’t finished yet.

“She obviously had talent and went some big races last season as a two-year-old when Regan (Todd) had her,” explains Wallis, who trains Lil Whip in partnership with husband Bernie.

“Her first start for us she finished fourth to Empire City in the Northern Oaks and we knew she could trot but the next two times she galloped.

“So we have worked on getting her right at home but Tony had his plan, which was to not have her out in the open on that first bend, to give her cover and keep her mind on the job.

“That is one of the great things about having Tony drive for us when he can. He has so much experience and you can work together on working a horse out and you saw that tonight.”

The Herlihy association with Wallis and then Wallis/Hackett goes back decades, their crowning glory being the 2006 Inter Dominion Final with Delft at Moonee Valley in 2006.

Ironically Herlihy trains one of the very good crop of three-year-old trotting fillies, Inasinglemoment, who stands between Lil Whip and a big fillies win later in the season.

“It is a good crop but the big fillies’ races aren’t until the end of the season anyway so she can race through the grades and learn her craft.

“And we can make plans as the end of the season.”

The Wallis/Hackett stable bookended the programme when another stable transfer Halberg made it two wins from his last three starts in the last race and Wallis says she is looking forward to the new dates calendar coming into play which will see Alexandra Park racing most Fridays.

One of the other eyecatchers on Thursday night was Team Telfer two-year-old Bar Louie who remained unbeaten in two starts with an effortless win in the Gallagher Insurance 2YO Colts and Geldings Mobile Pace.

He was jogging in the one-one at the 400m and raced clear to pace a 1:55.3 mile and driver Joshua Dickie says there is plenty more in store.

“He has so much speed and does things so easily,” says Dickie.

“We really think he will go on with it and be a horse worth aiming at the good juvenile races.”




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