The silent stands at Thoroughbred Park were eerily fitting as Whycatchim surged across the finish line to snag first place in the $30,000 Federal.
The seven-year-old sprinter silenced the critics of yesteryear by winning his first race for new trainer Luke Pepper on Friday.
Whycatchim clung to an early lead to beat Our Rosemaree by a narrow 0.04 lengths, with Nick Olive's Polar Star rounding out the podium.
It was his first start following a 23-week spell, in which he changed stables from Mitchell Beer to Canberra-based Pepper.
"He's a horse which had some really strong form previously but lost a bit of that form over the last few starts. We knew if we got him back to where he's a happy horse, he'd be highly competitive," Pepper said.
"Being his first start for me, I was a little bit query on whether he was going to perform. All signs at home were fantastic, so I was quietly confident if he brought his best form he'd be hard to beat.
"In all honesty, he's been an absolute champion to train and is really enjoying his new environment. We're excited to see where he will go from here."
Whycatchim was Pepper's only horse racing on Friday, but his success was shared by his fellow Canberra trainers.
Keith Dryden claimed two firsts and a second, while Nick Olive won the class one handicap (1000 metres) with Tejori.
"We had some of the biggest trainers from Sydney there, with Snowden, James Cummings, and Jason Coyle. These are big stables so it's great to see the locals perform and win against them," Pepper said.
"It's our home track so the horses are used to the place, but it's not easy to win races anywhere. I'm just wrapped local trainers have done well."
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Pepper now has his sight set on next week's Wagga Wagga Carnival and has nominated two horses in the $160,000 Town Plate with Gold Touch and Viceroy.
Gold Touch has won four of her last seven starts this preparation, including the Summer Sprint (1200 metres) at Murrumbidgee Turf Club in January.
"It's a really strong race but it's a track she loves and she's got a great first up record after a freshen," Pepper said.
"Hopefully I'll have two runners in the race with Viceroy, who ran third in the Town Plate Prelude the other day.
"It's a race I've always wanted to win. I've run second, third and fourth but never been able to get the cash. It'll be nice to have two runners in it to make my chances more able."