Daniel Morton’s defending champion Watermans Bay is tipped by the bookies as the one to beat again in Saturday’s AJ Scahill Stakes 2015 sitting top of betting at an odds-on price to win the feature race of the week in Perth.
Ascot Racecourse is host to an eight-event card on the weekend highlighted by Race 6 at 4:03pm (WA time) – the $250,000 Group 3 A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m).
The lucrative weight-for-age clash features seven runners this Perth Summer Racing Carnival with the field and latest AJ Scahill Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au firmly led at $1.70 by Eternity Range seven-year-old Watermans Bay.
The gelding won the same race 12 months ago as a $4 hope in betting with a Caulfield win over 1400m in Group 3 company this April since.
His two lead-up runs back home at Ascot this time in have both produced solid second place efforts including in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) just last weekend behind Robert Heathcote’s 2013 winner Buffering.
Watermans Bay paid $10 that day but even on the short back-up is much shorter to win this weekend as he drops right back in class and gets over a distance he has a solid record of two wins and four seconds from eight previous runs over.
Two other runners are also under double figures for the win in AJ Scahill Stakes betting with the market mover Magnifisio ($4) who was runner-up last season and Battle Hero ($8) drawn well in barrier two for jockey Chris Parnham.
So will the odds-on favourite salute for the punters and secure back-to-back Scahill Stakes wins or is there an upset on the Perth card this weekend from one of his six longer priced rivals?
#1 Watermans Bay ($1.70)
The odds-on favourite is at the short price for a reason and is hard to see him getting beaten in the race he won 12 months ago. Did it at bigger odds last summer and is now a seven-year-old but is racing career best yet again this season with back-to-back seconds to kick off the campaign. The latest was just seven days ago on Saturday in elite level company when a length off Buffering in the Winterbottom. He is up in distance, which suits, down in class and the WFA conditions here are also a non-issue with Perth’s best William Pike to give him a gun run.
#7 Magnifisio ($4)
Tipping the same AJ Scahill Stakes quinella as last year with Vaughn Sigley’s top mare and $1.3 million earner Magnifisio to run second again. She has an excellent record at Ascot (16-6-5-2) and also goes very well over the distance (3-1-2-0). She too comes out of the Winterbottom but ran a disappointing 13th, something she can atone for her with barrier 15 of 15 getting the better of her last week.
#3 Dawn Approach ($18)
Adding value to the trifecta at nearly $20 for the win is Sigley’s other runner, Statue Of Liberty five-year-old Dawn Approach 12th in the Winterbottom and also set to run better here as a class galloper when in form. Track suits (18-5-4-1) and has winning form up to 1300m so just needs to extend a little further.
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