Jockey Tommy Berry is confident Gai Waterhouse’s Golden Slipper winning colt Vancouver can return to winning form in the 2015 Golden Rose next month when stepped out over more distance.
The son of Medaglia D’Oro was short-priced favourite first-up last Saturday at Rosehill Gardens to keep his flawless record intact with a win in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1200m).
He failed to quicken over the closing stages struggling in his resuming run with 60kg against a field of fitter three-year-olds and could only manage to run just over two lengths away fourth behind the flying Chris Waller-trained Japonisme.
The San Domenico was Vancouver’s first run since taking his record to four wins from as many starts and boosting his potential value at stud into the millions with a victory in the $3 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on March 21.
Despite the shock loss last Saturday, Berry believes Vancouver is still the youngster to beat in the upcoming three-year-old features in both Sydney and Melbourne including the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) on September 12.
“I thought he ran well – had to do a bit work in the early stages and 60kg on his back always makes it tough when they’ve got to finish off after doing a bit of early,” Berry told Racing Ahead.
“He never dropped out at all, he actually let down nicely in the straight without showing a customary turn of foot.
“But he’s never had to carry that weight before and he’s never really been pushed out of his comfort zone.
“He pulled up very well, he’s obviously going to be suited over a little bit further this preparation and on level weight – he’s going to have that from now on.”
The bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au agree and still have the horse heading the futures Golden Rose odds at a quote of $3.20 followed by Waller’s San Domenico Stakes winner Japonisme ($4.60) who made it four straight wins with the upset.
Vancouver is also gearing up for a trip to Melbourne this campaign for a shot at the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) over the mile on October 10, and Berry has faith that over that sort of distance the star colt will be hard to defeat.
“Last preparation he was winning over shorter trips but we always felt that he’d be better over further,” he said.
“This preparation he actually feels like he’ll be better over further.
“His next start will probably be the Golden Rose, which is 1400m, then the Guineas over 1600m and obviously if he can get onto a Cox Plate that would be a dream for the owners and Gai.
“His next few runs will tell the tale.”
It is the same two in the all-in Caulfield Guineas betting markets with Vancouver ($4) and Japonisme ($8) followed by Press Statement ($10), Waller’s JJ Atkins winning Hinchinbrook colt returning to racing in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) this weekend.
Australasia’s weight-for-age championship, the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) meanwhile runs at Moonee Valley Racecourse on October 24.
The last three-year-old Cox Plate winner was Shamus Award (2013) two years ago, with Vancouver currently paying $34 to be the next this spring.
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