Gai Waterhouse-trained Vancouver is the new 2015 Golden Slipper favourite after he recorded an impressive win in the Canonbury Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Vancouver led from start to finish when he made his racing debut with an comfortable win in the Listed New South Wales Thoroughbred Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on October 4, but he was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Tommy Berry in the early stages of the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m).
Team Snowden-trained Outreach was well-backed in the lead-up to the Canonbury Stakes and he took up the running in the early stages of the race before he looked like the winner he fought off Godolphin colt Chamarel at the top of the straight, but Vancouver showed a most impressive turn-of-foot to storm down the outside of the field and score a narrow win.
Waterhouse was gushing in praise for Vancouver following his Canonbury Stakes victory and she confirmed that the son of Medaglia D’Oro would have his next race start in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21 ahead of the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on March 21.
“He’s very special,” Waterhouse said after the race.
“He pulled up terrific and he was very courageous.
“The spring form is the best form reference for the two-year-olds.
“He won the Breeders Plate; all my good Golden Slipper horses have either won the Breeders Plate or been placed in it.
“Even though he wasn’t fully wound up he had the race experience that the others didn’t have yesterday.
“It counted and that’s what won him the race, he knew where the winning post was.
“Vancouver is the most exciting colt I’ve trained since Pierro.”
There was a great deal of buzz surrounding Outreach heading into the Canonbury Stakes and he was far from disgraced in second, but the racing career of the Exceed And Excel colt is now in doubt after he was found to have suffered a fractured pelvis.
Outreach was notably lame in his near hind at the conclusion of the Canonbury Stakes and co-trainer Peter Snowden informed stewards on Saturday afternoon that scans had shown the full-brother to 2013 Golden Slipper win Overreach had suffered the serious injury.
Vancouver is currently available at 2015 Golden Slipper odds of $7 with Ladbrokes Australia and is a narrow favourite from Ottoman ($8), Fontiton ($11), Furnaces ($11), Headwater ($11) and Paceman ($13).