Japonisme upstaged Vancouver to record an impressive win in the 2015 San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Japonisme was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) and he was settled in a lovely position by jockey Tye Angland in fifth, while Tommy Berry pressed forward on Vancouver and he was settled in third behind Haptic and Headwater.
Vancouver looked to travel nicely in the run and he responded fairly when asked for an extra effort, but he was unable to match it with Japonisme, who swooped down the outside and fought off King’s Troop and a brave Haptic to take out the San Domenico Stakes.
Trainer Chris Waller has always maintained that Japonisme would be a better horse as an autumn three-year-old, but he believes that the Choisir gelding has now proven that he is capable of performing at the highest level.
“It is good to have media around you after a Group 3 race early in the season,” Waller said.
“We have a pretty handy horse on our hands.
“I said earlier in the week that if he wins I think we have a Group 1 horse on our hands, but if we don’t I won’t be too disappointed because I still think that he has a bit of maturing to do.
“That is quite exciting and he actually looks better today than he did last start, which is a good sign if we did want to give him another run or two.”
Japonisme has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12, but he revealed that the three-year-old is no certainty to press on to the $1 million race.
Waller said that he feels Japonisme may be more of a sprinter than a 1400 metre horse and he indicated that he could freshen up the gelding for a tilt at the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
“It would be a tough race to bypass and it is in our backyard,” Waller said of the Golden Rose Stakes.
“I really think that he is a good sprinter and 1400 metres to me is not a genuine sprint.
“It is hard to bypass and the Inghams are a sporting family, so I guess they will be telling me what to do.
“If you back off now you can easily get him ready for a race like that (the Coolmore Stud Stakes), but because he is a gelding it is not so important just to have it right in terms of winning a Group 1 for a colt.
“We can actually consider him a race horse.”
Vancouver only battled late and missed the placings, while Redzel and Headwater both produced disappointing efforts.