Ahead of black-type winning colt Vancouver’s first-up run of the season at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday, his five-time Golden Slipper winning trainer Gai Waterhouse is making comparisons between him and a host of her other male Slipper champions.
Medaglia D’Oro two-year-old Vancouver has his second career start in the opening Expressway Stakes Day race this weekend taking on five unraced rivals in the $150,000 Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m).
Hall of Fame trainer Waterhouse also saddles up two undefeated fillies in race three, the $150,000 Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m), with $17 Golden Slipper hope Giulietta and Pierrette.
Her shortest-priced hope for the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) back at Rosehill Racecourse on March 21 during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival in the futures markets at Ladbrokes.com.au however is Vancouver.
The all-in markets for the world’s richest race for two-year-olds are led by the Godolphin-owned Exceed And Excel filly Ottoman ($8).
Vancouver meanwhile pays $13 equal with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Duporth colt Paceman who won at Rosehill in mid-November.
Waterhouse’s fancy won his first trial at Randwick’s Kensington track last September with her leading jockey Tommy Berry aboard before Tye Angland took over for the youngster’s winning debut on the course proper on October 4.
Angland rode Vancouver, who was fast out of the gates, in an impressive all-the-way win in the $100,000 Listed NSW Thoroughbred Breeders’ Plate (1000m) where he defeated Sooboog by one and a quarter lengths.
He trialled again at Randwick on January with Berry aboard for a fourth over 1050m behind Ghisoni, Berry opting to stay aboard for Saturday’s Canonbury Stakes where he believes the young gun will be improving with the blinkers back on.
“He just needs them to really switch on,” Berry said after Vancouver, who wore the shades for his win on debut, was without blinkers for his latest trial.
“He is just a laid-back customer.
“His work on Monday morning was very sharp. If he goes around on Saturday, I think he will just win, but he will only be there if he is 100 per cent.
“He has been the one that has really stood out to me at home and I have told Gai he is one for me [in the Slipper].
“He just does everything, so easy and nothing seems to worry him.”
Waterhouse agrees with Berry’s assessment and rates the NSW Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes form as it has held up for her in previous autumns with the likes of her male Golden Slipper winners Pierro (2012), Sebring (2008) and Dance Hero (2004).
“He is a Breeders Plate winner, like Sebring and Pierro, while Dance Hero ran third in it, so it is a very important race when it comes to the Slipper,” Waterhouse told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“He is very laid-back and has shades of Pierro about him.”
Waterhouse is also considering giving Vancouver a lead-up trial into the Canonbury this Friday at Randwick, the colt also a chance to run in the $250,000 Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) on February 21.
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