The Gai Waterhouse trained Vancouver threw aside any doubts that his Golden Slipper campaign wasn’t on track with a brilliant win in a 740m Randwick barrier trial today.
The undefeated Vancouver was due to start in the Group 2 $250,000 Blackwoods Uvex Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill last Saturday but Waterhouse opted for a barrier trial today to keep him up to the mark.
The Medaglia D’Oro colt will now head to the Group 2 $300,000 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 7 as his final lead up race for the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill two weeks later.
“The Golden Slipper is still a month away and as Gai said to me ‘it’s all about the timing’ and that’s why she thinks the Todman Stakes is a better fit,” stable representative Mark Newham said.
Jockey Tim Clark was standing in for Tommy Berry who rode in Singapore on Sunday and let Vancouver, with the blinkers on, stride to the line to record an impressive three lengths victory.
Vancouver is a winner of his only two starts and Waterhouse put the colt away after winning on debut in the Listed $100,000 NSW Thoroughbred Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick last October.
The bay colt then resumed for a first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on January 31 with Berry in the saddle to show that he was going to be one of the main contenders for the Golden Slipper.
Vancouver is currently on the second line of betting at $6 for the Golden Slipper with Ladbrokes.com.au behind the Team Hawkes trained Headwater who jumped to the top of the market order at $4.80 after leading all of the way to win the Silver Slipper Stakes.
The Robert Smerdon trained filly Fontiton is on the third line of betting at $8 and will start favourite in this weekend’s Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Waterhouse will be trying to win her sixth Golden Slipper and equal her famous father Tommy Smith’s record after collecting the trophy with Ha Ha (2001), Dance Hero (2004), Sebring (2008), Pierro (2012) and Overreach (2013).