WATC Derby 2012 on Agenda for Lord Hatras

Mike Storer’s up-and-coming three-year-old Lord Hatras has earned a shot at Group glory in the 2012 WATC Derby next season after breaking their black-type maiden in the $80,000 Listed Aquanita Stakes (1800m) at Ascot’s Kingston Town Classic Day on Saturday.

Backing up from an unlucky eighth place finish to King Saul in the WA Guineas over the mile, Lord Dane gelding Lord Hatras relished the step up to the 1800 metres on the weekend.

In a powerful staying display the William Pike-ridden $14 chance stormed home to snare the Aquanita Stakes win three-quarters of a length ahead of the $3.20 favourite Keepers Court, Neville Parnham’s Fort Courage finishing the same distance away for third.

“He got beat by five (lengths) last start but he copped a check which cost him roughly that margin,” Storer said.

“If punters had done their form they could have found him.”

The Aquanita Stakes is the same race Parnham’s stable ace Playing God, who won their second Group 1 Kingston Town Classic on the weekend, took out 12 months ago.

A bright future looks to be on the cards for Lord Hatras, their Lark Hill-based trainer naming the $400,000 Group 2 W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m) at Ascot on April 14, 2012 as their next major goal.

“He’ll go for a break now and we may even bring him back for the (WATC) Derby in April,” Storer said.

Playing God managed to run second in this year’s Group 1 WATC Derby to Oaks-Derby double victor Dreamaway, the race since downgraded to Group 2 status.

Saturday was Lord Hatras’ second career win from 13 starts, the galloper having scored their first race win back in October at Pinjarra after having debuted a full 12 months earlier.

The Festival of Perth Racing action continues this Saturday with the running of the $125,000 Group 3 Lee Steere Classic (1400m) at Ascot.

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2011 Aquanita Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Ascot Race 3 – 03/12/2011

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 3 LORD HATRAS Mike Storer William Pike 3 55kg $15
2 4 KEEPERS COURT (NZ) Alan Mathews Patrick Carbery 0.75L 10 55kg $3.20F
3 2 FORT COURAGE Neville Parnham Steven Parnham 1.5L 5 56kg $6.50
4 1 FINAL CUT Brian O’Malley Peter Knuckey 2.25L 1 56.5kg $8
5 6 INDEPENDENT MAK Julie Clements Shaun O’Donnell 2.25L 2 55kg $26
6 9 NINGALOO BLITZ Daniel Morton Glyn Schofield 3L 4 53kg $4.80
7 8 WAKAHA KID Steven Ryan Alan Kennedy 3.25L 7 55kg $101
8 5 ARETE (NZ) Darren Mcauliffe Jason Whiting 4L 6 55kg $26
9 7 FIRST FLIGHT Graham Yuill Ms Kyra Yuill (a) 4.5L 8 55kg $7.50
10 10 ALLEZ MARSEILLES Shane A Edwards Jason Brown 5.25L 9 53kg $16