Local Perth trainer Dan Morton is happy to saddle-up recent stable acquisition Watermans Bay in Saturday’s 2014 Winterbottom Stakes with the horse in top condition following a stint in Melbourne.
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mark Kavanagh prepared the Eternity Range six-year-old for three unplaced runs in Victoria during the spring, the most recent of which was a sixth behind Reparations in the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
The gelding was with champion Bunbruy trainer Peter Giadresco before the Melbourne stretch but upon his return home has joined a new stable with Morton, of Scenic Blast fame, taking over.
The triple stakes winning Watermans Bay handled the trip back to WA well and hasn’t put a foot wrong since joining Morton’s team.
“He only got here on Friday, but he’s done well,” Morton told Perth Racing.
“He hasn’t left an oat.
“I’ve ridden him a couple of times and he gives me a good feel.”
Watermans Bay hasn’t raced in Group company since a failed seventh to Conservatorium in the Group 3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) back in December last year.
Before that he was a competitive third behind Queensland visitor Buffering in the Winterbottom Stakes, an effort Morton hopes he can emulate again 12 months on.
“He ran third in the race last year and if he’s somewhere near his top, he’ll be a nice horse to have going into the race,” the trainer added.
In last year’s Winterbottom the third placegetter was ridden by Troy Turner but this time round his trainer has engaged the services of Steven Arnold.
Arnold and Morton combined for much success with former star sprinter Scenic Blast, inducted into the WA Racing Hall of Fame over the weekend, who Arnold rode to victory in the 2009 Group 1 Lighting Stakes – Newmarket Handicap double at Flemington five years ago.
He was also in the saddle when the champ overcame an outside barrier 15 draw for his international debut that year at Ascot in the UK to win the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1005m).
Watermans Bay currently sits as a $41 outsider in the Winterbottom Stakes odds, one of the longest priced hopes in the Ladbrokes.com.au markets.
Betting is led by the Robbie Griffiths-trained mare Angelic Light ($3) who worked well at the track during this morning’s ‘Breakfast with the Stars’.
Also well liked is last year’s runner-up Moment Of Change, beaten in a photo finish by Buffering, who trainer Peter Moody believes is on an upward spiral after two unplaced Group 1 runs in Melbourne after a freshen-up.
Other horses along with Angelic Light that worked at the track this morning include Phillip Stokes’ last start Flemington winner Éclair Big Bang ($13) and the Godolphin-owned Sidestep who will have the blinkers on.
The 2014 Winterbottom Stakes barriers will be drawn this evening, updated odds to be released soon after at our preferred online betting agency Ladbrokes.com.au.
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