Former top fancy Vancouver has been officially ruled out of a Golden Rose 2015 bid in Sydney Saturday week with connections to instead focus on getting the Golden Slipper winner ready for a Caulfield Guineas run in Melbourne next month.
Gai Waterhouse’s star Medaglia D’Oro colt stole the juvenile show last season winning all four of his opening career runs including the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $3 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) during the autumn.
He suffered his first defeat first-up this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival however when crossing fifth as the beaten favourite in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 15 when crossing just over two lengths behind the Chris Waller-trained winner Japonisme.
Vancouver disappointed jockey Tommy Berry in a Randwick barrier trial this week putting in a flat performance, which saw the former short-priced fancy drift in the pre-field markets at Ladbrokes.com.au to win the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12.
Now he has been withdrawn from the Rose altogether and will next appear in Melbourne heading towards a run in the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10 with Waterhouse convinced he is looking for further distance.
“They can go through growth phases and maybe he’s doing that,” she told Racing Ahead on RSN on Friday morning.
“I can’t fault the horse, he’s glorious in his action and he’s very, very happy in his demeanour.
“I thought his first run was excellent. He’s not an outright speed horse now, he’s more a middle-distance horse, and that’s what he’s developed into.”
The Golden Rose odds are now firmly led by the John O’Shea-trained Run To The Rose winner Exosphere ($2.60) who shoots for the same double the Cummings-trained Hallowed Crown (2014) achieved last year.
Following is then Chris Waller’s JJ Atkins winner Press Statement ($3.80) who ran an eye-catching second first-up in the Run To The Rose last time out.
As for the ante-post Caulfield Guineas markets, Press Statement ($5) is the number one pick currently followed by the Mick Price-trained Ready For Victory ($6) who contests the $200,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington Makybe Diva Stakes Day Saturday week.
Vancouver then occupies the third line of Caulfield Guineas betting at $7 to win his first run at a mile, a distance the early favourite Press Statement is already proven over thanks to his elite level win at Doomben during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
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