Watagan can win again
TRAINER Gary Bein believes a wide barrier is the only thing that can stop Miss Watagan maintaining her unbeaten record in Saturday’s Listed Tommy Smith Slipper at Doomben.
Not even the prospect of a wet track has dampened his confidence in the youngster who added to her debut victory at Eagle Farm with an all-the-way win in the McDougall Stakes at the same venue last start.
‘‘They will be racing in the mud and she’s not tried in the mud but I think she will handle it. She’s a very sure-footed filly,’’ Bein said.
‘‘If she draws a gate I don’t think they will beat her.’’
Miss Watagan is one of 18 nominations for Saturday’s 1200m sprint with the barrier draw to take place following acceptances today.
She will carry just 52.5kg under the set weights conditions, good news for her supporters but not so good for regular jockey Brad Stewart.
‘‘He’s always had weight problems and he’s got to get down to 52.5 kilos on Saturday so it will be no easy task,’’ Bein said.
‘‘But his manager rang and said he’s working on it.
‘‘If Brad called me today and said ‘I can’t make the weight’ then I’d try to find someone else but other than that, he stays. He’s ridden her well both times.’’
Bein races Miss Watagan under lease from breeder Curly Steward and is keen to campaign the filly in Sydney this autumn.
Provided she runs up to expectations on Saturday, the youngster will be given a let-up in readi- ness for a tilt at the Reisling Slipper Trial (1200m) at Rosehill on March 17.
Should she win that, Bein said he would more than likely pay the late entry fee to secure Miss Watagan a Golden Slipper start.
‘‘She’s not nominated for the Slipper, at the time we didn’t know how good a filly we had,’’ Bein said.
‘‘If she wins the Reisling that would get us into the Slipper, we would just have to pay the $150,000 late entry fee, which would hurt, but I’ve spoken to Curly and he’s happy to go that way if we get there.’’
SLIPPERY MISS . . . Miss Watagan scorches the turf in her McDougall Stakes win earlier this month