Talent trotter Irish Whisper declared that he has arrived on the Open Class scene by winning the Group Two Lyell Creek Stakes at Alexandra Park last night.
After working forward to tackle Stent for the lead after second favourite Realmein made an early blue, Herlihy was allowed to dictate terms in front, before the six-year-old sprinted strongly in the home stretch, wheeling off a 28.0 last quarter to narrowly hold a late challenge from Stent via the passing lane. Dr Hook was also close-up in third.
“He has come back a much better horse this time in and is learning to relax in his races,” said trainer-driver Tony Herlihy post race. “He is still pretty young for a trotter so you would expect that he will only improve further from here,” he added.
Herlihy said that as soon as Irish Whisper found the front the once enigmatic trotter dropped the bit and was just lobbing along with his ears pricked.
“He showed a good kick in the straight as well,” he added. “Tonight was a big step up for him so I’m pretty proud of what he was able to achieve.
It was Herlihy’s sixth win in the Group Two race after previously winning it with names such as One Over Kenny and Buster Hanover.
Irish Whisper will now target the National Trot on December 31st, but he may compete in the Waikato Trotters Flying Mile prior to that.
“He will need a race before the National Trot, so that does look the logical option.”
By Mitchell Robertson