Watermans Bay (Tommy Berry) exacted revenge on arch rival Magnifisio with a polished win in the AJ Scahill Stakes Group III race (1400m) at Ascot yesterday.
On straightening for home it looked as if Magnifisio (Chris Parnham) had ‘flown the coop ‘ and was about to add another good win to go with her Winterbottom Stakes victory.
However Watermans Bay was not to be denied a second time and the gelding unleashed a powerful run with daylight between the pair on the line. Three lengths back, in a tough fight for third, Antique Belle edged out Testamezzo.
Trainer Dan Morton noted it was Watermans Bay first win over the 1400m journey. “But he has always felt to me like he was a 1400-1600m horse. He is not just a sprinter.”
Morton said he was confident of the gelding’s chances, in running, “until the home turn where he was speared wide.”
The Ascot trainer also said going into the race he fancied his chances against Magnifisio.
“I think we were unlucky not to beat her last start. I do not criticise the stewards for dismissing our protest in the Winterbottom for early interference. However, the fact is my horse did lose more ground than the head he was beaten by in that race,” Morton said.
Morton took over the preparation of Watermans Bay after the horse returned from Victoria. He had previously been trained by Matt and Peter Giadresco at Bunbury.
Owner John Molloy said the reason was purely a question of geography. “Being Ascot based cuts down the travel.”
The win gave top visiting riding Tommy Berry a winning double as earlier he was successful on the Palace Intruder in the Aquanita Stakes(1800m). The Trevor Andrews trained galloper, at $31, comfortably ran past the fancied Say Geronimo ($2.40) in the run to the line.
QUEENS CUP: Real Love gave jockey William Pike, leading trainer Adam Durrant, and prominent owner Bob Peters a winning double for the day when the chestnut mare won the 2200m stayers race.
Earlier the trio had celebrated with Real Charm in the Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m).
Real Love outstayed Son of Something (Berry), with the second horse having his first start for Justin Warwick after leaving Durrant’s stables.
The pair of greys, Ask Me Nicely and Lucciola, fought out third place with the former prevailing.
Durrant has his eyes on the Perth Cup with Real Love and the chestnut certainly put paid to the runner up in handsome fashion, in the run to the line, in the process stepping up in distance, following a last start second over 1400m.
Durrant also said his earlier winner, Real Charm, was looking for more ground.
This was a harder win for her than her seven lengths win, seven days earlier. This time she beat Need a Lift by a head, both of them collaring Miss Rose De Lago near the post.
“Full credit to her for backing up after winning last week,” Durrant said.