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By Graham Potter | Sunday, October 22, 2023

A new winner in the stable is always very welcome and the lightly raced four-year-old mare Court Whispers ticked that box for the David Vandyke yard when she prevailed in a Maiden Handicap over 1200m at the Sunshine Coast on October 22 in only her second start in her new trainer.

The daughter of Dissident had only two starts for trainer Jarrod Austin before transferring to Vandyke where she was given a trial on September 19, before she made her debut for the Sunshine Coast based trainer in which she finished third, just 1.80 lengths behind the still unbeaten Javada, who would go on to win his next start as well to make it two wins from two starts and frank that form.

Marked up as the $3.70 favourite in her latest assignment, the extreme outside barrier draw was never going to do Court Whispers any favours, but Justin Huxtable had Court Whispers positive out of the gates and he continued to push forward in a measure fashion, taking his time to get where he wanted to be … it did him all of 400m to secure an outright lead … but once Court Whispers had gained the ascendency, she dictated the flow of the race from there and arrived at the point of the home turn a length-and-a-half clear of her nearest rival, the $13 chance Ashilla.

Huxtable then asked Court Whispers to extend on straightening, which she did, increasing her advantage to three lengths over the still second placed Ashilla by the 200m mark.

That effort in the first half of the home straight was a decisive one, as it carried Court Whispers into a race winning lead with the result never in doubt over the last 200m.

Ashilla kept chasing and she did close again to finish within a length of Court Whispers at the line but without ever seriously troubling the Vandyke trained winner.

No other runner got within three lengths of Court Whispers at the line, emphasizing the strength of the mare’s run, given the work she had to do early from her wide barrier draw and the focused effort she gave in the home straight when putting the result to bed.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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