Sam achieves 200 wins milestone with Whittaker

J Scott Latest News


Overport Lodge driver Sam Ottley achieved her 200th career-win milestone with another gem of a drive, this time behind exciting newcomer Whittaker at Addington on Friday, July 15, 2016.

She brought up her 199th win the previous night when when fellow Overport Lodge pacer, Itz Risky Business, notched his second win there within a week.

Sam, six week after her career highlight win behind Rocker Band in the Group One $150,000 Harness Jewels 4YO Diamond at Cambridge, began a new chapter wearing owner Greg Brodie’s famous colours behind Whittaker.

Winning combination, Sam Ottley and Overport Lodge trainer, Mark Jones.

Winning combination, Sam Ottley and Overport Lodge trainer, Mark Jones.

The promising rising 3YO captured buyer interest with a stunning trial and workout win as Tadpole’s Legacy when developed by Peter and Leonne Jones, was recommended to Mr Brodie as a colt capable of making his mark at three.

The deal was done and he joined the Overport Lodge stables of Mark Jones, joining Rocker Band and others in Mr Brodie’s ownership. However, the major owner couldn’t live with the colt’s name, and a request to HRNZ for a change was granted.

Being by new stallion Sportswriter, Mr Brodie couldn’t think of a more appropriate name for the colt than Whittaker, the surname of his late friend, former long-serving Sydney Morning Herald turf writer Bill Whittaker.

The equine Whittaker, described “as a lovely colt” by trainer Mark Jones, lived up to his rating, being given every chance from Sam, and looks every bit a Sires Stakes hopeful for the spring.

Sam eased Whittaker out from three back on the markers to grab a one-one sit tracking All Stars favourite Stars Align 500m from home.

Whittaker confirmed his potential, striding clear to win easily by a length and a quarter, rating a useful 1:58.5 for the 1950m, the leaders having the pace on over their last 800m in 56.2s and final 400m in 27.7s.

The winning debutante adds to the winning wave being created by stock of 2009 US & Canadian 2YO Pacing Colt of the Year Sportswriter (by Artsplace from a Jate Lobell mare), who paced 1:49.4 at two, and a 1:48.6 at three, and won $1.5 million.

Sportswriter is available at Wai Eyre Farm in North Canterbury.

The sire also featured on Friday in Perth, being represented by Group One-winning WA 2YO Golden Slipper Stakes winner, former Kiwi, Mitch Maguire (2c Sportswriter-Miley Maguire).

The former Brent Mangos-trained Mitch Maguire controlled the speed from the ace fro the Greg and Skye Bond stable, winning in a 1:55.9 rate for the 2130m in the Gloucester Park classic.

He’s unbeaten in both starts since arriving in Perth, having won first-up thre over 1823m at Narrogin in a 1:55.4 rate.

Sportswriter has also left the smart Australian youngsters, Shezallapples (p2, 1:53.3, G1 2016 NSW Breeders 2YO Fillies Challenge); Raith Memorial winner Read About Lexy (1:53.5, 11 wins & $153,718); G1 Vic. Super Series 2YO Fillies Final & Victoria Oaks winner, Niki No No (1:55.6, 13 wins & $253,837); Edogan (1:52.6, 9 wins & $80,168) and Sporty Spook (1:56.7, 18 wins & $157,384, runnerup in G1 2014 NSW Breeders Challenge, 3rd in both a Bathurst Gold Crown Final & NSW Derby).

Sportswriter, whose oldest are 4YOs, was the top first crop sire in the USA, Canada and Australia in 2014-15.

He’s the sire in American of over 54 in 1:55 and the winners of over $4.8 million including Reverend Hanover (p2, 1:51,2 & p3, 1:48.6, winner of over $500,000), Voracity (p2, 1:51.4 & nearly $300,000), Sports Chic (p2, 1:54.4 & $282,889), Twin B Thong (p2, 1:52.2 & $243,944), Sporting The Look (p2, 1:53 & p3, 1:51.4) and Code One Hanover (p2, 1:54.2 & p3, 1:52.6).

Whittaker also has good genes on his dam sire.

His third dam was the good northern 1980s mare Precious Dina (by Mercedes), who won eight of 57 starts including the 1986 North Island Breeders Stakes.

Precious Dina left Pacific South, dam of upset 2000 Group One-winning Auckland Cup mare Flight South, beating Yulestar and Holmes DG, over 3200m.

Flight South also numbered victories in the 2001 Premier Mares Championship at Addington (1:56.3 mile rate, 1950m, beating Kym’s Girl) and Group Two Franklin Cup (3200m) among her 12 wins for $292,566 in stakes for Cambridge trainers, Andrew and Lyn Neal.

Whittaker comes through Honey Trap, a half-sister by Ok Bye to Pacific South.

Honey Trap won once from just eight starts and left Whittaker’s dam Anarchy (by Holmes Hanover), who was also lightly-raced winning twice and being placed five times from 10 starts.

Further back in Whittaker’s maternal line, Precious Dina’s grand-dam Portmadoc left Princess Nandina, dam of highly successful 1980s American filly/mare Pacific (p3, 1:53, winner of $871,550) and Twice As Good (1:56.5).

Twice As Good, in NZ, is the five-win dam in NZ of nine individual winners including Waitfornoone (1:55.7, 11 wins), St Barts (1:57, 14 wins), Fight Fire With Fire (1:56, seven wins), Mark Dennis (1:54.2, Aust), Double Shot (1:57.9, five wins) and Twice As Hot (five wins), the latter becoming the In The Pocket dam of the last year’s Menangle Inter Dominion runnerup Flaming Flutter (1:53.9, 19 wins & $A623,907).

By Jeff Scott