AS a November, 2012 whelping, Whittaker was the oldest greyhound racing at Wentworth Park yesterday week but he belied his advancing age to score an all-the-way 520m win.
Whittaker, better known in recent times as a stayer, resuned after a break of more than four months to win a 520m fourth and fifth grade in a tidy 30.28.
Biggest surprise attached to the win was that Whittaker, usually a moderate beginner, jumped in front from box five and held off a late challenge by noted strong finisher Hansome Junior to win by a neck.
Whittaker, owned and trained by Julie and Bruce Fletcher, has now won 22 races and been placed two dozen times from 70 starts.
Julie and Bruce were not at WP to see Whittaker win, as they were attending to their daughter Lauren, who was in the final days of a pregnancy.
Instead Bruce’s sister Jill Harper handled Whittaker, and she was beaming after the race.
Whittaker was heavily backed in TAB fixed odds betting and that was no surprise considering the dog had trialled brilliantly at Dapto a week earlier.
“He clocked 29.76 over 520 metres but I think most of the people at Dapto thought it had been Julie and Bruce’s top notcher El Magnifico who had run such fast time,” Jill Harper said.
“Whittaker is an old marvel because he is still such a tenacious chaser.
“It is hard enough to get a two-year-old greyhound to chase keenly these days, let along a dog who has turned five years of age.”