Daniel Morton’s defending champion Watermans Bay leads a small but classy line-up of middle distance gallopers running in the latest Perth Summer Racing Carnival Group event with the AJ Scahill Stakes 2015 taking place at Ascot on Saturday.
Due to jump as Ascot Race 6 at 4:30pm (WA time), this year’s lucrative weight-for-age $250,000 Group 3 A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m) features a field of seven hopefuls.
Twelve months ago Morton’s Eternity Range gelding Watermans Bay won the race on the back of a brave second behind Chris Waller’s visiting Sydney galloper Moriarty in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1400m).
The now seven-year-old ran second again in this season’s Winterbottom Stakes behind 2013 winner Buffering last weekend and will now look to frank the form again on Saturday from barrier seven of seven in the Scahill with William Pike in the saddle.
Also coming out of the Winterbottom Stakes seven days earlier come this weekend are the Neville Parnham-trained Checkpoint (8th), the fellow Parnham-trained Commands four-year-old Rommel (9th), Vaughn Sigley’s Dawn Approach (12th) and his 13th placed stablemate Magnifisio who won the race in 2014.
Drawn in gate four this weekend looking to atone for her failed Winterbottom title defence, six-year-old Magnus mare Magnifisio has amassed over $1.3 million in winnings over her 28 start career to date that includes a dozen wins and six at the Ascot track.
She was third-up in the Winterbottom this year on the back of two good placings at Ascot and was also runner-up to Watermans Bay beaten 1.25 lengths in last year’s AJ Scahill Stakes.
Another Group 1 performer from last weekend at the track backing up in Saturday’s AJ Scahill is the Grant Williams-trained Stratum four-year-old Battle Hero, the gelding running five lengths away 10th to Waller’s Good Project in the Railway Stakes (1600m).
He drops back in distance for this weekend’s race then and is undefeated over 1400m with two previous wins over the distance as he looks to return to form having run a good second the run before the Railway in the Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) on November 14.
The Adam Durrant-trained Haradasun five-year-old Respondent meanwhile is after his first win from five runs over the 1400m backing up from a first-up fourth to Hazzabeel in the RJ Peters Stakes.
He has a solid second-up record of one win and one third from three previous attempts but hasn’t won a race since the Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m) over the mile and a half back in April last year.
Check out the full AJ Scahill Stakes 2015 field, barriers and jockeys in the table below.
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2015 AJ Scahill Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ascot Race 6 (4:03pm) – 28/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||21x2591x22||WATERMANS BAY||Daniel Morton||William Pike||7||59kg|
|2||036x6827x4||RESPONDENT||Adam Durrant||Glenn Smith||5||59kg|
|3||23122×3260||DAWN APPROACH||Vaughn Sigley||TBA||1||59kg|
|4||86217x31x9||ROMMEL||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||6||59kg|
|5||x32x33x3x8||CHECKPOINT||Neville Parnham||Brad Parnham||3||59kg|
|6||1118×11220||BATTLE HERO||Grant Williams||Chris Parnham||2||59kg|