Vancouver overcame the outside barrier to record an history victory in the 2015 Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
There was a great deal of pressure on Tommy Berry heading into the Golden Slipper, but the leading hoop elected to ride Vancouver like he was the best horse in the race from his wide barrier and was happy to let the two-year-old travel three wide in transit in the first half of the field, while there was a genuine tempo in the early stages of the race.
An emotional Berry dedicated the victory to his twin brother Nathan Berry, who tragically passed away almost 12 months ago, and the talented hoop was absolutely delighted to have won the Golden Slipper on Vancouver – who he believes can complete the Triple Crown by winning the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m).
“I have no words,” Berry said.
“One of the best moments I have had on a racetrack was winning it last time with Nathan by my side and I am so thankful that he is looking after me today.
“Good horses get them out of travel and we had a beautiful run just behind Speak Fondly and as I said he will win the Slipper and go on to win the Sires and the Champagne.
“I have one ride and I hope I have the other two.
“He just does it so easy and he had them covered easy today.
“He is just a pleasure to ride and I can’t thank Gai enough.”
Gai Waterhouse maintained throughout the week that Vancouver would have no problems overcoming the wide barrier draw to win the 2015 Golden Slipper and her prediction proved correct, while English gave her a Golden Slipper quinella for the second time in her illustrious training career.
“He is a joy and the filly was no disgrace either, the way that she attacked the line was really fantastic,” Waterhouse said.
“He is such a good horse, he is a dominant colt today and he showed that today.”
Waterhouse previously won the Golden Slipper with Ha Ha (2001), Dance Hero (2004), Sebring (2008), Pierro (2012) and Overreach (2013) and Vancouver’s victory means that she has now joined T.J. Smith as the only trainer to win the Golden Slipper on six occasions.
The iconic trainer said that it meant a great deal to be able to join her father as the most successful trainer in the history of the Golden Slipper and she feels that she has lived up to the last piece of advice that her Smith gave her before he passed away.
“The last thing he said to me was that ‘you make the man sick, you can’t train the two-year-olds’,” Waterhouse said.
“When he passed away that was a driving force for me.
“He put me into motion, that is what it was.”
Team Hawkes-trained Lake Geneva replicated his Blue Diamond Stakes performance to finish third and Mick Price-trained Ready For Victory was arguably the hard luck story of the race, while the Godolphin runners were largely disappointing.