Watson finds Serenity in the Summer Scorcher

How’s The Serenity five-year-old Magnus scored his second Listed success at Ascot on Sunday, jockey Holly Watson’s apprentice, with a devastating return in the $125,000 Furphy Summer Scorcher (1000m).

The speedy mare, trained by Holly Watson’s boss Simon Miller, followed up two impressive recent trials victories with a convincing overall victory to beat Wilchin by more than a length to claim the lucrative black type for the first time.

Speaking on The Sports Daily on TABradio on Tuesday morning, Watson says it wasn’t necessarily the plan to lead with How’s The Serenity, but it was the logical choice after the mare jumped the gates brilliantly.

“We know he’s got a lot of speed under him – especially when he’s fresh – so I always believed he’d be on the pace,” Watson said.

“Simon always leaves it up to me and says it’s my choice to have her where she’s happy.

“When she jumped like that I thought, ‘Well, we’re going to lead’ and when Indian Pacific dropped I was happy to go into the lead.

“It all worked out great for my sake and hers.

“She attacked the line well and Simon trained her to perfection.

Asked if she had any concerns that How’s The Serenity might be vulnerable in the closing stages, Watson said she knew she was home as soon as they squared up to the judge.

“Not when we rounded the corner,” she said.

“She kicked well and kept fighting on the line so I was very, very happy with her.

“I said to Simon, ‘This is the first time she’s led and hit the line really well’, so I was very proud of her and her effort.”

How’s The Serenity is in her third racing season after making her debut at Ascot on March 11, 2020, and her eight wins from 20 career starts have brought her earnings and bonuses to $388,760.

Watson, formerly a very strong type, believes the key to the five-year-old’s career-best comeback was maturity.

“She performed really, really well,” Watson said.

“Usually she sweats a lot and usually flaps behind the gates and stuff, but when she went to the barriers she was just beautiful and stuck her head out.

“I think two trials under her belt settled her and she was just beautiful before the race.

“I think he’s growing up.

How’s The Serenity is now likely to step up to the Listed Miss Andretti Stakes (1100m) on Saturday January 14 before tackling the Listed Scenic Blast Stakes (1200m) a fortnight later and Watson is confident the extra distance will only benefit the mare .

“She’s always looking for that extra bit and she’ll be able to sit and win, so it just depends on what gate we get and how she’s ridden,” she said.

“I think she’s matured so much in this prep that she’s going to be such a nice horse.

Watson’s triumph in the Summer Scorcher brought the second leg of a winning double on the day after progressive three-year-old Feels Playful out of Playing God had knocked out the Amelia Park Plate (1400m) earlier on the card.

After leading throughout on her previous start, the Mitch Pateman-trained mare showed versatility, settling third in the run and finishing strongly to beat Laquetta’s Gift by a nose at the finish line.

“She’s developing really nicely and she’s going to be a nice filly,” Watson said.

“She’s probably looking for it a little further now and I probably should have kept beating her to the line because she fell asleep a bit.”

“We will learn that in the future.”

“It’s the first time in a race that she didn’t get a little bit under cover, so I thought it was a great job from her to be able to ride differently and still be able to win.”

“He’s going out for a while now and I think he’s heading to the Oaks.

The $300,000 Group 3 WA Oaks (2400m) will be run at Ascot on Saturday 25 March.

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