Two-year-old colt Vancouver defied history on Saturday to become just the second Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) winner since 1957 to overcome the outside start from barrier 16 and win.
Despite having to overcome the wide, tricky start Vancouver was always the favourite to win the $3.5 million juvenile race at Ladbrokes.com.au. In the end the draw worked in the colt’s favour, giving him an ideal bit of cover before changing gears and dominating down the straight.
Vancouver worked forward from his wide draw, slotting into seventh, three wide with cover, five lengths off the leader. The colt crept up nearing the 600m with a nice trail off the leading trio, four wide into the straight. He strode to the lead with 200m to go, shaking off stablemate English inside the 100m to draw clear.
It was a similar explosion to that he displayed when winning the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 7 by over three lengths. The colt is a class above his rivals and many punters and racing enthusiasts alike were preparing for his attempt at the Triple Crown during the Sydney autumn carnival.
However trainer Gai Waterhouse quickly put an end to those plans, revealing Vancouver will head to the spelling paddock to have him at his best in the spring as a three-year-old.
“I’m very mindful of his three-year-old career,” Waterhouse told Sky Racing after Vancouver won the Slipper.
“He is a superior colt.”
The last horse to claim all three titles was coincidentally the Waterhouse-trained Pierro in 2012. He then finished third in the 2013 Cox Plate during the spring.
While completing the treble for the first time since 2012 would be tempting for Waterhouse, she’d much rather him at a peak fitness level for the Group 1 Cox Plate (2400m).
Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) winner Pride Of Dubai is now the $4.20 favourite in the 2015 Sires Produce Stakes early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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