Classy sprinter Watermans Bay will be set for the $100,000 Bunbury Stakes in March after scoring a career-best win in yesterday's $90,000 Mungrup Stud Sprint at Mt Barker.
Starting a hot $1.80 favourite after strong backing from punters, Watermans Bay rocketed home from eighth on the turn for jockey Troy Turner to steal the lead from Impatient Times at the 200m.
The four-year-old set up an unassailable lead and went on to beat Kerrific ($4.80) by 1¼ lengths with Timely Reign ($26) third.
Co-trainers Peter and Matt Giadresco freshened Watermans Bay after his brilliant Ascot win over 1200m last month to target the Mungrup Stud Sprint (1300m).
"We knew coming here today that he was a class horse on the way up," Peter Giadresco said.
"With the minimum weight and a nice barrier (four), the race was tailor made for him.
"It's a good story, he is an up-and-coming horse.
"He will be aimed at the Cyril Flower and Bunbury Stakes.
"When he goes out for a spell after this prep and comes back in, he will go to the summer features at Ascot."
The $80,000 Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) is run at Ascot on February 23 and the Bunbury Stakes (1400m) is on March 10.
Watermans Bay is a homebred for owners John and Sharon Malloy and was bred at Mungrup Stud.
He is by the stud's former sire Eternity Range and has now won six of his 16 starts for $309,950 in prize money.
He could be joined in the Cyril Flower and Bunbury Stakes by Tiger Pete, who scored a brilliant victory over 1100m at Ascot on Saturday.
In his third consecutive win, he gunned down Rouge Dior by 1½ lengths. The four-year-old has now won seven of his 12 starts.
Trainer Steve Wolfe dodged the Mungrup Stud Sprint to avoid a big ratings penalty if he won.
·In-form apprentice Mitchell Pateman will have scans today on a knee after he was injured in a fall at trackwork on Saturday morning.
X-rays cleared Pateman, who is second to Ben Paterson in the city apprentice's premiership with 13½ winners, of any serious damage after his knee hit a tree in the fall.
He was forced off his rides at Ascot on Saturday and Mt Barker yesterday.
"It was a pretty bad fall and my knee is in a bit of pain," Pateman said.
"I'll have more scans to see if there is any ligament damage.
"Fingers crossed there is no damage and I won't be out long because I was having a pretty good run. I'm hoping it is just bad bruising."
"We knew coming here today that he was a class horse on the way up." "Watermans Bay's co-trainer *Peter Giadresco *