Watermans Bay Targets 2015 Lightning Stakes

Perth sprinter Watermans Bay is on target for a Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival raid with a trip across the country set for the Dan Morton-trained galloper including a run in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes 2015 Saturday week.

Watermans Bay

Steven Arnold will ride Watermans Bay in the 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes on February 21 at Flemington. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

Ascot-based Morton, of Scenic Blast fame, named the $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at the famous Flemington Racecourse on February 21 as the first of the major autumn sprints for Eternity Range six-year-old Watermans Bay.

Morton won the prestigious sprint back in 2009 with the mighty Scenic Blast and believes the weight-for-age contest will make the perfect lead-up for Watermans Bay going into the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) back at the track on ‘Super Saturday’, March 14.

“I just want to keep him to going down the straight because I think those races will suit him,” Morton told Perth Racing this week.

“The Lightning will give him a practice down the straight before the Newmarket.”

The gelding was in Melbourne during the spring spending time with trainer Mark Kavanagh who prepared him for three unplaced Listed runs.

Before that the horse was prepared in Perth’s South West be Peter Giardesco.

With Giardesco Watermans Bay’s best run was a third to Queensland visitor Buffering in the 2013 Winterbottom Stakes.

In his opening run for Morton he also ran in last year’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in a bold effort that saw him blocked for a run on the straight before coming within a head of the winner Magnifisio for a brave second.

His two runs since have also been good with a one and three quarter length victory over his last start conqueror Magnifisio in the Group 3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m).

Last Saturday he ran well again but wasn’t good enough to catch Black Heart Bart who beat him by nearly two lengths in the Listed Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m), Watermans Bay far from disgraced with a hefty 62kg on his back.

Now connections will send him back to Melbourne to take on some of the world’s best sprinters who are just warming up hoping the Perth raider has the fitness edge to be competitive in the Lightning Stakes where Steven Arnold is the likely rider.

His major aim as mentioned though is the 2015 Newmarket Handicap, betting for which is already open at Ladbrokes.com.au, where Arnold will be replaced – the hoop unable to get down to the 53.5kg Watermans Bay will carry with his 106 rating.

The early Newmarket Handicap odds are led by the Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua ($4.20) who is down to resume racing in the $200,000 Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) on CF Orr Stakes Day at Caulfield this Saturday.

Watermans Bay meanwhile is currently listed as a $51 outsider in the futures markets for the famous Flemington sprint.

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