Waterman’s Bay’s challenge of capturing an elusive Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) victory is in jeopardy with trainer, Dan Morton, ruling him out of the upcoming Ascot carnival.

Time is the enemy for Morton with Watermans Bay unable to regain full fitness after he sustained a leg injury during a stopover in Melbourne while en route to Queensland for the Brisbane carnival.

It’s big setback for the son of Eternity Range, a $1,336,800 stakes earner, who is after his first win in the Group One Winterbottom Stakes after three consecutive minor placings.

He was 1 ½ lengths third behind Buffering in 2013, pushed Magnifisio to a head margin 12-months later and in 2014 ran a slashing second to Buffering, beaten one length.

Now spelling at owner John Molloy’s Margaret River property, Watermans Bay has not raced since taking out the Group 3 A.J.Scahill Stakes (1400m) last November.

“We are not going to have him back for the carnival,” Morton told Tabradio.

“It’s unfortunate, but as long as the horse is healthy going forward that is the main thing.

“We won’t rush him along and hopefully he can get back to full fitness and we can have something to work with.

“If he doesn’t he is in a good place down there with John and his partner Sharon at Margaret River getting spoilt.”

RWWA; Julio Santarelli