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Winker Watson - Royal Ascot 2007

New Norman Court Stud resident Winker Watson wins the Norfolk Stakes

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Winker Watson retired to Norman Court Stud

WINKER WATSON, one of the leading two-year-olds of the 2007 Flat season, has been retired to stand at Norman Court Stud near Salisbury, where he will begin his career as a stallion next year at a fee of £3,500.

The 16.1hh son of Piccolo was purchased as a yearling for 56,000gns by Blandford Bloodstock on behalf of The Comic Strip Heroes syndicate, who named him after a character in The Dandy.

Trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, he was unbeaten as a juvenile, winning his maiden over 5f at Newbury, the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, and the July Stakes, in which he produced a devastating turn of foot to overcome a low draw and come from last to first to score. He was also carrying a 3lb penalty in the Newmarket Group 2 event.

Those efforts earned him a Racing Post Rating of 116 and quotes as low as 10-1 in ante-post betting lists for the 2,000 Guineas. Though he missed the first Classic of the season, he posted a highly creditable effort when beaten three and a half lengths into fourth by Henrythenavigator in the Sussex Stakes. This year he has failed to find his true form, finishing unplaced in three starts.

Norman Court Stud co-owner Tania Trant said: "Winker Watson showed outstanding form as a two-year-old, with two Group 2 wins to his credit, and he was a worthy fancy for the 2,000 Guineas.

"He is a nice, strong individual, tidy and well put-together. He was described by Peter Chapple-Hyam as one of the best two-year-olds he had ever trained, while his regular jockey Jimmy Fortune said he was genuine with lots of speed. We feel that his nomination fee of £3,500 is highly competitive."

Winker Watson joins 2006 St Leger hero Sixties Icon, who covered his first book of mares this year, and fellow Group 1 winner Imperial Dancer onthe Norman Court Stud stallion roster. 




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