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Back to the bush for international owner

One weekend he’s attending one of the world’s biggest race days, and the next a meeting in country Victoria.

That’s the contrast for owner Glenn Whittenbury who has Atlantic Express running in the Bendigo Guineas on Saturday.

A week earlier, Whittenbury was at the Dubai World Cup meeting to watch his Singapore-trained galloper, last year’s Singapore Horse of the Year, Debt Collector finish ninth in the Dubai Turf for former Melbourne trainer Cliff Brown.

Whittenbury came away from Dubai having thoroughly enjoyed the trip and is sure that not only he but also Brown and Debt Collector gained valuable experience.

“It’s amazing how they do things and it’s amazing how well behaved all these good horses are,” Whittenbury said.

“They just go there and do their business but our bloke was his normal whacky self at times.”

Debt Collector has already arrived back in Singapore and is undergoing quarantine before a campaign aimed at the Singapore Derby in July.

Whittenbury’s attention is now focused on Bendigo where Atlantic Express returns after a short break.

With the pre-post favourite Theanswermyfriend scratched to run in the Carbine Club Stakes at Randwick, Whittenbury says the race has now opened up.

“The horse is terrific,” Whittenbury said.

“He had a jump-out at Flemington last Friday over 800 metres which he won, although that means nothing.

“He’s in good nick and he’ll acquit himself well. It might be a bit short for him but first-up he’ll run well.

“We’re certainly not going there to make up numbers.”

Whittenbury and trainer Tom Hughes will then aim Atlantic Express at the VOBIS Gold Reef, a $250,000 1600m race-restricted to VOBIS Gold three-year-olds at Caulfield on April 22.

With the scratching of Theanswermyfriend, Godolphin’s Achi Baba has been installed the $4.80 favourite while Atlantic Express is an $18 chance.

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