Classy sprinter Watermans Bay is poised to snatch nominal favouritism for next month's $100,000 Bunbury Stakes if he wins today's $80,000 Pink Hygiene Solutions Cyril Flower Stakes at Ascot.
Watermans Bay has been freshened by co-trainers Peter and Matt Giadresco since his dominant 1¼-length win over Kerrific in the Mungrup Stud Sprint (1300m) at Mt Barker last month.
The four-year-old, who has won six of his 16 starts, was never fully tested when running second to Helena Miss in a 1000m trial at Bunbury eight days ago.
Player rates Watermans Bay the second pick in the Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) at $4.20. Peggie's Dream is the $2.90 favourite.
Matt Giadresco is confident Watermans Bay can overcome an awkward draw in barrier 10 and a perceived lack of speed in the Listed feature.
"He's primed and ready to go," Giadresco said. "The only worry is the speed of the race and he doesn't have a great barrier.
"He sits back and runs on and it can be difficult because we can be at the mercy of what the front- runners do.
"But he's pretty classy and we're excited about his chances.
"To be on the minimum weight (54kg) is a big plus.
"If you look at his record, he never wins by much, but he won very well at Mt Barker."
Troy Turner has retained the ride on Watermans Bay after guiding him to victory in the Mungrup Stud Sprint. His next aim, the Bunbury Stakes (1400m), is run on March 10.
Giadresco's co-trainer and father, Peter, won the Cyril Flower in 2004 with Devil's Dance.
Peggie's Dream, trained in partnership by Bruce Watkins and Gary Hitchcock, needs to pass an endoscopic examination this morning before starting.
Watkins said his other Cyril Flower runner Kerrific and Rose (race eight) would also be tested.
"We have a couple of young ones that got a bit of a cold," Watkins said.
"We couldn't get a vet until race morning. There are no guarantees any of them will be starting."Kerrific is on the fourth line of betting for the Cyril Flower at $9.
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