Promising sprinter River Beau will target Group 3 races and bypass the Belmont winter season, according to trainer Bruce Watkins.

River Beau secured back-to-back victories at Ascot last Saturday and his third from five starts this preparation as he looks to wind up his summer and autumn campaign with a feature race double.

“We will be going to the Northam Stakes, as long as everything is fine,” Watkins said on Tabradio.

“We’ll go to Northam in a fortnight and then assess things there.

“If he did well and happen to win there, I would probably look at going towards the Roma Cup (1200m).

“But he would have to go really well or probably win to warrant that because of the ratings system you don’t want to be going into races too far behind the top raters as you would get penalised too much.

“We’ll go to Northam if he is right for that and then the Roma Cup a fortnight after.”

Because of Watkins’ concerns over Belmont Park, River Beau will bypass the upcoming Belmont season.

The Snippetson gelding’s one start at winter headquarters was below par when he trailed the field behind Eeyore Wayz last September.

“He’s had the five runs in now and normally I’m probably looking for the paddock, even though he is pulling up well,” Watkins said.

“But none of his family have handled Belmont, he’s had one race there and finished last.

“I will probably dodge Belmont and give him a good break.

“He’ll have a little prep at home to keep his fitness up.

“Then he’ll come back for Ascot, that’s what I’m planning.

“If I bring him back for Belmont it will be a wasted prep.”

The Northam Stakes (1100m) and the Roma Cup (1200m) at Ascot are run on May 2 and 15 respectively.

Julio Santarelli