Bennett Racing 3yo Watadeel opened his metro account in devastating fashion at Sandown on Wednesday winning running away.
Always considered as a seriously talented horse, he went off as 2nd fav behind the much-touted fav. Watadeel was on an 11 day back up from his good effort in the Gr2 Alister Clarke Stks 2050m at Moonee Valley when beaten only 3 Len .
Phil Stokes elected to bring the gelded son of Dundeel back in distance to the 1600m and felt that the horse’s class would get him over the line. As the rain fell confidence built with Watadeel as he had shown in his maiden win that he did appreciate a bit of give. Jockey Luke Nolen changed the original forward position tactics earlier in the day, feeling he should ride the horse back from his outside barrier, which would be a better move and saving Watadeel for one long run home down the wide Sandown straight.
On jumping Luke, as mentioned pulled Watadeel over to the tail of the field and put the flashy bay into a very good rhythm in last place. Whilst all this was going on the hot fav was enjoying a soft run behind the leader. With the tempo set at a good pace, Luke kept Watadeel back until the field began to reach the home turn.
Pushing out another runner, Luke brought Watadeel widest early in the straight, balanced him up and unleashed with a powerful burst. Within a hundred metres Watadeel joined in out wide and just as the Fav hit the front, Watadeel put him to the sword and dashed away. Luke was easy on the boy in the end and he won by and official 1 Len but it could have been more had he of rode him to the line. Watadeel produced the fastest sectionals of the day in what was an awesome display and a 10 out of 10 ride by Luke. It was a great sight to see Watadeel use his great stride, something Luke had commented on after the Alister Clarke run.
Luke Nolen felt after the race that the gelding had a lot more to offer and would mature into a lovely miler, not convinced that he would stay a distance at this stage.
Watadeel looks like a seriously nice horse in the making. His 1st up run this prep he finished only 3.7L behind multiple Gr1 winner Jaquinot in the Gr3 Manfred Stks. Taken to The Valley in a 3yo BM70 for his next start, Watadeel produced a terrific finish to place a neck 2nd.
Wednesday race was the geldings 5th run for the prep and although the horse won so impressively , he is an imature leggy customer and time will be his friend for the future.
The win took Watadeel’s record to 2 wins 2 2nds in 8 starts and prizemoney of over 134k. Congatulations to all owners and well done to Phillip and team at Stokes Racing.
A 115k purchase from the Stonehouse draft at the 2021 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale as agent for the famous Segenhoe Stud, Watadeel is the 3rd winner for the good class winning Encosta De Lago mare Water Kiss herself a daughter of the stakeswining mare Kishat a winner of 5 of her 9 starts at a mile and Gr1 placed in the Chelmsford Stks. Watadeel is a direct descendant of the top flight Gr1 winner Deck The Halls who beat the boys in the Gr1 Rosehill Guineas.