He may be taking on Golden Slipper winner and $40 million stallion prospect Vancouver, but Haptic is “ready to go” in Saturday’s San Domenico Stakes 2015 according to Godolphin’s head trainer John O’Shea.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Vancouver, last seen winning the $3 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) during the autumn, has scared away the bulk of his rivals first-up in the $125,000 Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Sydney’s Rosehill Racecourse this weekend.
One horse that isn’t shying away from the challenge presented by the undefeated Medaglia D’Oro colt Vancouver is Haptic, the Exceed And Excel gelding gearing up for his fourth career start where he will shoot for his third win.
On debut the up-and-comer won over 1000m defeating Counterattack at Randwick in late January before another win next start in mid-February with a three-quarter length victory over Furnaces in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m).
His first defeat then came on March 21 at Rosehill when stepped up in class, only managing to run seven and a half lengths away 12th behind Vancouver in the Golden Slipper.
Spelled after the Slipper failure, Haptic has had two trials leading up to his return for a second on July 20 and then a win over Raphael’s Cat over 1050m at Randwick 11 days later.
Those two smart trials have the youngster race fit and ready for Saturday’s challenge according to O’Shea who is ready to give a host of the team’s other top three-year-olds hit-outs over the coming weeks.
“I think Vancouver will scare a few off but [Haptic] is a sprinter that is ready to go,” O’Shea told The Sydney Morning Herald this week.
Another progressive youngster in the San Domenico Stakes mix in Sydney on Saturday is the in-form Chris Waller-trained Japonisme.
Most of the nominees for the set weights plus penalties sprint including Vancouver, the Team Hawkes-trained Headwater and Gerald Ryan’s recent Warwick Farm winner King’s Troop are heading towards an early elite level run during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) back at the track on September 12.
Waller’s Choisir gelding Japonisme is rated a $34 chance in the all-in Golden Rose odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, which are firmly led by Vancouver ($3.20), but the galloper is yet to be confirmed for the race.
Japonisme is yet to race in stakes company but is undefeated this time in having won all three of his runs since July 8 including over 1100m at Rosehill on August 1 when beating home Tempt Me Not by an easy four lengths with Nash Rawiller aboard on 59kg.
“We are going there to find out a bit more about him [on Saturday] and he hasn’t meet opposition of this standard before. He is fit and it is the right race for him but it will be very tough,” Waller said.
Second favourite in early Golden Rose betting is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained dual Group 1 winner Pride Of Dubai ($8) who is about two weeks off his first official spring trial.
Team Snowden also have another possible Golden Rose-bound three-year-old nominated for the San Domenico this weekend in Redzel.
The Snitzel colt has had two starts for a win on debut over Japonisme at Warwick Farm over 1100m on March 19 and a last start third to Furnaces in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) on a Heavy (9) Randwick track in early April.
“It will tell us where [Redzel] stands, he won a trial very smartly but these are serious horses,” co-trainer Peter Snowden said of the San Domenico Stakes.
“We are looking to trial Pride Of Dubai on August 17 and then make a decision about the Golden Rose.
“He comes to hand quickly and the Run to the Rose is an option for him that is two weeks out from the Golden Rose and fits well.
“Hugh Bowman has been booked to ride [Pride Of Dubai] this time in.”
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