A brilliant ride from jockey Troy Turner propelled Watermans Bay to an impressive victory in the $80,000 Pink Hygiene Solutions Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.
Watermans Bay, strongly supported from $4.60 to $4.20, gave Turner cause for concern when he started slowly from barrier 10.
But the Group 1-winning rider never panicked and smartly positioned Watermans Bay midfield on the fence.
Turner was presented with clear running early in the straight, allowing him to get Watermans Bay off the rail and storm past Peggie’s Dream ($2.70 favourite) to take the lead.
He established a race-winning lead, beating Sir Hallowell ($51) by a length with Kerrific ($13) third.
Peggie’s Dream faded after leading to run fourth.
Watermans Bay is now the nominal favourite for the $100,000 Bunbury Stakes (1400m) on March 10.
“It was a very impressive ride,” co-trainer Matt Giadresco said.
“He’s up in the ratings now and we’ve just been pointing and shooting with his races to maximise his earnings.
“He’s been up for a while but has had a lot of time off in our paddocks.
“From barrier 10, we didn’t give (Turner) too many instructions. He knows the horse.
“He’ll go to the Bunbury Stakes and then we’ll go from there.
“He’s an exciting horse to have anything to do with.”
Giadresco and his co-trainer and father, Peter, plan to set Watermans Bay for the Group 1 $500,000 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot next spring.