Jockey Steve Arnold has a great affiliation with trainer Dan Morton and Watermans Bay, and is thrilled to return to the saddle of the talented gelding ahead of Saturday’s 2015 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).
Watermans Bay has been a strong and consistent performer in posting ten wins and a further fourteen minors through 38 career starts so far and has three times been partnered by Arnold; running fifth in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) and winning the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) most notably through the recent Autumn Carnival and second in last year’s Winterbottom Stakes.
Arnold partnered the Morton-trained Scenic Blast to success in a number of Group 1 feature races in 2009 including the King’s Stand Stakes (1007m) at Royal Ascot, and is thrilled to reunite with the Eternity Range gelding on Saturday.
“I’m always happy to jump on one of Dan’s horses. He’s a really good trainer and he thinks Watermans Bay’s going well,” Arnold told AAP.
“I rode him in the race last year and I thought it was a great run. I actually protested against the winner.
“It caused a little bit of interference early and I only got beaten a head or something, so I threw in a protest and I thought I might get it.”
Arnold has identified five-time Group 1 champion Buffering as the horse to beat in the 2015 Winterbottom Stakes but would not trade his ride on Watermans Bay for any.
“This is the right sort of race for Watermans Bay, the only one that stands out is Buffering,” Arnold said.
“If Buffering turns up in his best shape he’s probably got the class edge on the rest of the field.
“But my guy is honest, he’s a local, he ran well the other day so I think he’s in the mix.”
Watermans Bay returned last time for a close second to Magnifisio in the Winterbottom Stakes; progressing to success in the Group 3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) before running second in the Listed Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) leading into the Lightning Stakes.
Unable to figure in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in his only other start prior to his Victoria Handicap triumph, Watermans Bay received an ideal tune-up for the Winterbottom Stakes when second to Rock Magic in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) first-up on November 3rd.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Winterbottom Stakes odds, for which Watermans Bay can be taken at a generous quote of $7.50 for success.