Star jockey Tommy Berry is confident that class will help Vancouver score a first up win in the Group 3 $125,000 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday and maintain his unbeaten record.
The brilliant Vancouver is a winner of all his four race starts including his last start win in the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in March during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The Gai Waterhouse trained colt began his racing career with a win in the Listed $100,000 NSW Thoroughbred Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick on October 4 during the 2014 Spring Carnival and Waterhouse immediately labelled the Medaglia D’Oro colt as her main Golden Slipper hope.
Following a short break Vancouver returned to the track for a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on January 31 before he had his last Golden Slipper lead up run with a win in the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 7.
Berry was aboard Vancouver for three of his four wins, including the Golden Slipper and also partnered the colt in his tough barrier trial win over 840m at Randwick on July 31.
“He is a very special horse, we all know that,’’ Berry told news.com.au.
“His (barrier) trial win the other day really excited me and it told me he is coming up really well for the spring.”
Berry considers the 1100m of the San Domenico Stakes not the colt’s best distance but has no worries that last season’s champion two year old has the class to carry him into the winner’s circle again.
“The 1100m test is a test as it is a touch short for him but I still believe his class will shine through,’’ Berry said.
“You won’t see a great difference in the way he looks physically on Saturday but he definitely feels stronger.’’
Berry tied the knot with long-time partner Sharnee Nisbet in Sydney on Sunday but won’t have much time to celebrate, having to cancel plans for an Hawaiian honeymonn to prepare to ride the very special Vancouver on Saturday at the start of the Spring Carnival.
“When I found out Vancouver was racing I knew I had a tough decision to make,’’ Berry told The Daily Telegraph.
“Sharnee and I spoke about it and we agreed that I had to ride Vancouver, so unfortunately our trip to Hawaii had to be cancelled.”
Waterhouse is also excited about the return of Vancouver to the racetrack this weekend and is confident the colt can got through the Spring Carnival undefeated.
“Vancouver has comeback bigger and better who I believe will not be beaten this preparation,” Waterhouse said on her blog.
“He will take a power of beating come Caulfield Guineas day.”
Vancouver’s first major goal for the Spring will be the Group 1 $1m De Bortoloi Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 12 before heading to Melbourne to prepare for the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 10.
Waterhouse is also considering starting the headline colt in the Group 1 $3m William Hill Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.