Trainer Gai Waterhouse has confirmed there will be no Run To The Rose 2015 start for her star colt Vancouver this weekend at Rosehill Gardens, the Golden Slipper winner to be saved instead for a run next-up in the Golden Rose next month.
Three-year-old Medaglia D’Oro colt Vancouver won his opening four career starts including the iconic Group 1 Golden Slipper as a two-year-old last campaign before suffering his first defeat first-up this time in.
On August 15 he ran in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m), but could only manage to finish just over two lengths away fourth behind the Chris Waller-trained Japonisme.
Originally Waterhouse was looking at a run this weekend in the $175,000 Group 2 The Run To The Rose (1200m), but she has since confirmed he will bypass the lead-up event and go straight into the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) back at the Rosehill Gardens track on September 12.
“His Golden Slipper win was gutsy because he was three wide and toughed it out. But his Todman Stakes victory was simply breathtaking,” Waterhouse told The Daily Telegraph.
“All the form gurus labelled it the best two-year-old performance of the season and some said the best they had seen.
“Don’t forget he did that coming off a five week break with a trial in between.”
Current Golden Rose odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Vancouver as the firm $3 favourite, but whether he stays that short after the results of The Run To The Rose this weekend remains to be seen.
The past three Golden Rose winners all had their final lead-up in The Run To The Rose, including the Bart & James Cummings-trained Hallowed Crown (2014) who completed the double last year.
To help sharpen her $2.36 million earner up for the Group 1, Waterhouse will trial Vancouver next week.
“I’ll trial him on Tuesday week and go from there,” the Hall of Fame trainer confirmed.
While he suffered a surprise loss in the San Domenico, Waterhouse and jockey Tommy Berry are both confident the Golden Rose favourite will bounce back next start when going up to 1400m.
Vancouver was put through his paces at Randwick in a flying gallop on Saturday working alongside Waterhouse’s Group 1 winning mare Amanpour.
He finished ahead of his older stablemate in a very fast 1:17.2, including under 36 seconds for his final 600m and 10.9 seconds for the last 200m sectional.
“That run the other day has brought him right on,” Berry said.
“It’s just a matter of keeping him ticking over now and you’ll see the real Vancouver on Golden Rose Day.”
Berry chases his second Golden Rose win after partnering the Peter Snowden-trained Epaulette to victory in the 2012 edition, and said the three-year-old’s classic was a race he cherished.
“It’s a race I cherish and one that I’m keen to win again,” he said.
“I’m very confident this bloke can get the job done if things pan out.
“But as always you need luck in running or perhaps with horses like him, you don’t want any bad luck is a better way of putting it.”
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