Gai Waterhouse’s early Golden Rose – Caulfield Guineas favourite Vancouver is confirmed to return to racing and kick off his big Spring Carnival campaign in the 2015 San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill Gardens Saturday week.
Undefeated Medaglia D’Oro colt Vancouver has already won over $2.36 million in prize money and is shaping up as a very valuable stallion prospect after winning his opening four starts including the world’s richest race for two-year-olds.
Last time out the now three-year-old beat home stablemate English in the $3 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill, a track he returns to first-up on August 15.
Waterhouse has confirmed on Twitter the $125,000 Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) as the first-up mission for her young star who is already dominating the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for a host of upcoming spring majors.
“The Champion colt Vancouver is working superbly for Steve O’Halloran. Resumes in the San Domenico Stakes 15th AUG,” Waterhouse tweeted on Thursday afternoon.
It’s a big call from Waterhouse and shows the confidence she has in his ability as Vancouver will be asked to carry a hefty 60kg when he returns in the San Domenico, as opposed to his other first-up option – the $175,000 Group 2 The Run To The Rose (1200m) on August 29.
Other potential San Domenico Stakes runners include the Team Hawkes-trained Exceed And Excel colt Headwater who ran fifth in the Golden Slipper, Chris Waller’s in-form son of Choisir Japonisme and the Gerald Ryan-trained up-and-comer King’s Troop.
After the San Domenico Stakes his first big assignment is the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) back at the same track on September 12, Vancouver leading pre-field Golden Rose betting at $3.20 over Peter & Paul Snowden’s dual Group 1 winner Pride Of Dubai ($8).
The same two also dominate the early markets for Melbourne’s $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10, nominations for which were taken this week.
As well as the 2015 Caulfield Guineas, Vancouver is also nominated for Australasia’s weight-for-age championship with an early entry thrown in for the youngster in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse on October 24.
Futures Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is led by one of the international invitees, Sussex Stakes winner Arod ($9) and High Chaparral five-year-old Contributer ($10) who was last seen winning the Chipping Norton Stakes – Ranvet Stakes double during the autumn.
Vancouver meanwhile is at a juicer $21 in the all-in Cox Plate odds to become the first three-year-old since Shamus Award (2013) to beat home his older rivals in the classic.
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