Whittaker back in Canterbury

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Overport Lodge trainer Mark Jones ruled out a Northern Derby start for promising pacer Whittaker after his lead-up run at Auckland two weeks ago.

“He was not happy the Auckland way so I’ve brought him home and hope to have him right for NZ Derby back here (at Addington),” Mark said.

Whittaker, impressive in both Southland starts in late January-early February, copped the outside front row draw in a $30,000 3YO pace at Auckland on February 24 and ran on late wide out for fourth.

He finished the race off solidly but couldn’t pick up Northview Hustler, Runrunjimmydunn and Wrangler, at the end off the 2200m, cut out in 2:40.8 (1:57.6) mile rate).

This was the first time the Sportswriter-Anarchy colt had finished out of the first three in five starts, having previously won three and been once second.