Whispering Artist impresses with four in a row

By Michael Guerin

New Zealand’s most surprising mare may be running out of ways to keep surprising us.

Whispering Artist was a huge mover up the pacing ranks over the autumn, winning four races on end culminating in the Powell Transport Northern Breeders Stakes at Alexandra Park last Friday.

In doing so she beat a genuine Group 1 mare in Manhattan not once but twice in seven days and while the first of those wins came courtesy of a good draw, last week Whispering Artist had to show gate speed and manners before again using the passing lane to win.

That took her record to six wins from 11 starts and she is now a genuine Alexandra Park horse after her earlier this campaign racing predominantly at Cambridge, but co-trainer Gareth Hughes says that was nothing to do with her ability.

“She had a few little niggles that meant she was better going left-handed which is why she raced at Cambridge a few times in a row,” said Hughes, who trains Whispering Artist with his father Brian.

“But she has been in a really good place lately and it was great to see her show her potential at the carnival.”

The only issue is winter holds few opportunities for a mare of her class now so while she may target one of the Mile nights coming up at Alexandra Park, Whispering Artist would then either probably have to spell or get some standing start experience to maximise her options.

“But she might go for a spell and they (owners, John Green and family) could even put her in foal next season because she is well bred.”

The father and son Hughes stable are working 12 horses heading into the winter and take two maidens to Cambridge on Friday night where Fly To The Finish and Mark In The Park find themselves in the same race.

“They are both nice maidens and will go well and from the draw we expect Fly To The Finish to improve on last week.”


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