Bennett Racing 4yo Watadeel was too tough and too strong in winning his 4th race at Flemington on Saturday. Having his 5th run this prep, the Dundeel 4yo gelding has been racing without luck since winning 1st up at Sandown in August. The following 3 runs, all from wide barriers, had been very frustrating for owners with him settling back and powering home.

Having only his 13th race start and with Jamie Kah in the saddle, Watadeel again jumped cleanly but unlike his previous starts, he was soon sent forward by Jamie. Firstly electing to sit behind the leader, Watadeel seemed to relish the forward position and when the leader put more tempo into the race the two horses went clear. Jamie eased Watadeel out on straightening and took over in the run home. Full of running she had Watadeel flying and he maintained his advantage all the way to the line edging out the leader. Jamie Kah and J McDonald really dominated this race from the front running the first 800m in a soft 50.18s about 1 second slower than normal. The last 800m in the race was then run in 46.12s – those behind really had no hope of beating the first 2.

It was a tough effort as the first two set up the speed into a headwind and were still there at the end after maintaining good speed throughout. Particularity satisfying as it gave Watadeel a Saturday win over 1600m at Flemington over the Carnival.

Watadeel was having his 1st start for new trainer Annabel Neasham who praised previous trainer Phillip Stokes for having the gelding in such great condition but admitted she relied on Jamie’s knowledge of Watadeel potential and racing pattern, leaving Jamie to ride the gelding as she thought. Watadeel finally got out to 1600m which is obviously a preferred distance now having had 5 starts at the mile for 2 x wins, 2 x 2nds and a 4 th in a Gr3 race. Relishing the open instructions from Annabel, Jamie rode Watadeel like the best horse in the race and so it turned out that way. This was a really great win and thoroughly deserved. He rode a good pace throughout, challenged on the turn and toughed it out all the way to line with the first two clearing out from the rest. This was a fantastic and well deserved and overdue Saturday class win for Watadeel. Watadeel proved he is a very promising miler, finally got the luck and with a cleverly judged ride, he clearly came out the best. As a 75 rater, he wasn’t particularly well served at the weights but he showed he is right up to open class winning this BM90 with a strong finish.

Annabel is really looking forward to having Watadeel for the whole prep next time in but seeing he has pulled up so well through the run, there could be more riches yet this prep at the tail of the Spring. Races like the Cranbourne & Kilmore Cups over 1600m in 2 weeks or the Eclipse over 1800m in 3 weeks could well be considered.

A 110k purchase from Stonehouse Tbs at the 2021 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, Watadeel was sold on behalf of top Hunter Valley Nursery Segenhoe Stud. He is the best of the progeny to race from the stakesplaced Encosta De Lago mare Water Kiss.

Watadeel took his overall record to 13 starts, 4 – 2 – 0 $257,050. A lightly raced 4yo Watadeel is certainly improving with age.

Congratulations to all owners and thankyou to Annabel Neasham and her Pakenham Team. A great effort by Bennett Racing to have just 2 runners over Cup week for a win and a Listed 3rd with Sibaaq GB in the Furphy Plate on Cup Day.