TALENTED three-year-old Whistle Stop returns from a five-month lay-off in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m on the Inside Track at Turffontein on Sunday.
He has been in preparation for the KZN Champions Season with a number of Graded features on Mike de Kock’s list of potential targets, but the stable’s keeping all options open, waiting to see how he performs in this competitive line-up on a tight circuit he hasn’t been to before.
Whistle Stop needs a good blow.
Ring-rusty, drawn widest of all, unfavourably weighted and up against the likes of 2012 Durban July winner Pomodoro and runner-up Smanjemanje, Whistle Stop faces a comeback so tough it will come as a surprise to see him fight out the finish, let alone win.
Pressed for time at this important juncture, Mike’s had limited choices and Whistle Stop’s competing in next week’s Gr1 Daily News depends on what he is able to show on Sunday.
Assistant trainer Mathew de Kock commented: “The Durban July is our ultimate aim with Whistle Stop, but considering the constraints of time we’ve also nominated him for the Gold Challenge and the Cup Trial. He will definitely need the run, but we have to step him out because you can’t go into any of these quality races without at least a run under the belt.
“We’d be more than happy if Whistle Stop can make the first three or four on Sunday to show his well-being and to give us an idea of where we stand. He is not near his peak and we’re hoping he can run well on class alone and make the necessary improvement after that.”