Golden Slipper winner Vancouver remains the favourite for the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes at Rosehill on September 12 even though he suffered a shock defeat at Rosehill last Saturday.
Vancouver was sent out as the $2.40 favourite at his first run since scoring a sensational win in the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in March but struggled into fourth place in the in the Group 3 $125,000 Smithfield RSL Club San Domenico Stakes (1100m).
Tommy Berry had the Golden Slipper winner travelling smoothly just behind the leaders but the punter’s pick was unable to accelerate in the straight under the 60kg and made no impression on the leaders to finish two and a quarter lengths behind Chris Waller’s improving three year old Japonisme.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Vancouver is still at the top of the betting for the Golden Rose Stakes even though Ladbrokes.com.au have eased him from $3 to $3.80 with San Domenico Stakes winner Japonisme now a clear cut second favourite at $4.60.
Berry told the stewards following the colt’s defeat that he was happy with the run even though he was outsprinted from the 400m to the 200m under his big weight.
“He got into a good spot early but got a little bit lost when they sprinted because they did sprint quick,” Berry said.
“Fitter horses beat him on the day but he ran well.”
Under the set weights conditions of the Golden Rose Stakes and the step up to the 1400m, Vancouver’s chances will be vastly improved in a month’s time.
Waterhouse was beaming with confidence as she headed to Rosehill on Saturday and was looking forward to her star colt going through the Spring Carnival undefeated and was clearly disappointed to see him miss a place.
“I couldn’t see him being beaten,” Waterhouse said after the San Domenico SStakes.
“Whether it was the top weight or the 1100 metres, I don’t know.
“I didn’t come here today (Saturday) to get beaten but if he has to be beaten, better today than in the Group One.”
Vancouver went through his two year old season without suffering a defeat and won at all his three lead up runs into his Golden Slipper Stakes victory.
The 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.