Vancouver was allocated barrier 18 at the 2015 Golden Slipper barrier draw this morning, but trainer Gai Waterhouse remains confident that the talented colt is the horse to beat in the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Vancouver has been a clear favourite for the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) since he recorded a most impressive victory in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 7, but his odds have lengthened slightly following the barrier draw as only one horse has won from barrier 15 over the 1200 metre course at Rosehill Gardens in the past 48 starts.
The majority of trainers would be inconsolable at the news there horse would start towards the outside of the 2015 Golden Slipper field, but Waterhouse maintained her trademark confidence at the barrier and she said that both jockey Tommy Berry as well as Vancouver are good enough to overcome the wide draw.
“I never worry about barriers because you can’t do anything about them,” Waterhouse said.
“It is like your parents, you can’t say that you want to change your parents because you are stuck with them.
“We have an outside barrier and there will be a scrimmage going on inside.
“He can go forward and he can go back.
“Tommy has won a Golden Slipper and he was bang up on the fence and he will be using his brains from the outside there.”
Waterhouse will have three runners in the Golden Slipper Stakes field and undefeated filly English is set to receive a dream run into the race after being allocated barrier six, while Speak Fondly may need a bit of luck in running after being allocated barrier 12.
The leading Sydney trainer has previously won the Golden Slipper with Ha Ha (2001), Dance Hero (2004), Sebring (2008), Pierro (2012) and Overreach (2013) and one more victory will see her join her father T.J. Smith as the most successful trainer in the history of the race.
Waterhouse said at the Golden Slipper barrier draw that it would be a dream come to join her father with six Golden Slipper victories and she went on to express just how much the Group 1 event means to her.
“I love this race and I think it is the most exciting race in the world,” Waterhouse said.
“It symbolizes everything that we stand for, which is all about vitality, all about youth and every stallion that is worth its stamp has come out of this race.
“This is the stallion making race of Australia and the world.”
Vancouver is currently available at 2015 Golden Slipper odds of $2.80 and remains a clear favourite from Godolphin hopeful Exosphere ($4.60), impressive debut winner Ready For Victory ($11) and Silver Slipper Stakes winner Headwater.