Whittington has added his name to Gai Waterhouse's Golden Slipper contenders with a hard-fought win at Warwick Farm.
The winner of the Breeders' Plate on debut in October, Whittington was beaten by Never Can Tell when he resumed in last month's Canonbury Stakes but made amends in Saturday's Lonhro Plate.
The punters' favourite at $3.30, Whittington had to be urged by Nash Rawiller to produce something extra at the end of the 1100 metres to hold off Va Pensiero ($4) by a long neck.
Waterhouse won last season's Breeders' Plate-Slipper double with Pierro and said the early spring race was a pointer to the autumn.
"The Breeders' Plate winners always do well in the autumn," Waterhouse said.
"He is a beautifully put together horse and is an outstanding chance in the Slipper."
Waterhouse has the reigning Golden Slipper favourite Overreach ($4.60) and Sweet Idea on the third line of betting at $15.
The $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) is on April 6 with Overreach to make her next appearance in the Reisling Stakes on Saturday week against former favourite Villa Verde.
Nash Rawiller said he was impressed with the way Whittington attacked the line.
"He is still on the way up," he said.
"He got the job done but what I liked most was his last half dozen strides.
"He was very strong on the line."
Debutant Le Cordon Bleu ($12) made ground late to finish a length behind Va Pensiero in the Lonhro.