Golden Slipper winner Vancouver returns to racing this Saturday at Rosehill where he’ll line up in the San Domenico Stakes as the $2.50 favourite. The unbeaten colt will be out to avoid emulating former stable-mate Dance Hero, who was beaten in this race as the $1.50 when making his return racing as 3yo back in 2004. The last four winners of this race have all been first up from a spell with their previous run being in the Golden Slipper. Only Vancouver and Headwater ($10.00) fit this profile for this year’s event.
BONUS BET #1: $501 BONUS BET at Sportsbet.com.au
1. VANCOUVER – T Berry (7) 60kgs
Made light of the widest gate in this year’s Golden Slipper Stakes and comfortably kept his unbeaten record intact when registering a ¾ of a length win over English and Lake Geneva. He led them up in his only barrier trial hit-out and had to be scrubbed along by Tommy Berry over the final furlong to record a narrow win over Hi World. He has been nominated for the Cox Plate and (2040m) and Caulfield Classic (2000m) so would think trainer Gai Waterhouse has to leave something there to work with moving forward, and he does have a hefty weight and wide draw however, he is a class animal and a winner – that should see him home.
2. HEADWATER – B Shinn (8) 59kgs
Really staked his claim for this year’s Golden Slipper with a ultra-impressive win Silver Slipper Stakes but in the Todman Stakes and Golden Slipper, found Vancouver too good on each occasion, finishing third (5.3 lengths) and fifth (1.9 lengths) respectively. He won the first of his two trails over the past month with plenty in hand and was given a strong hit-out over the final furlong of his second which saw him finish narrowly behind Deploy, Press Statement third. Drawn a little awkwardly in eight and will be giving them a start turning for home but can’t be left out.
3. HAPTIC – S Clipperton (3) 57kgs
Won his first two career starts, getting the better of Counterattack and Furnaces with professional all-the-way wins but in the Golden Slipper, folded from an on-pace position on the turn to run twelfth, 7.4 lengths behind Vancouver. He has looked very smart in his two trials as he prepares to return to racing, running second in the first of them and winning the second when never appearing to be out of third gear. Will be in the right spot from the jump and be in this for a long way.
BONUS BET #2: $500 BONUS BET at Ladbrokes.com.au
4. JAPONISME – T Angland (5) 56kgs
Unbeaten in three starts this campaign for trainer Chris Waller. The Choisor gelding has enjoyed the run of the race at his past two starts before going on to register victories over King’s Troop (impressive maiden winner since) and Tempt Me Not. He’ll have to improve again to get the better of some smart ones here but he is fit, full of confidence and maps well behind what should be a solid tempo.
5. SALERNO – D Beasley (2)
We haven’t seen this Snitzel colt since he finished second to last and over a dozen lengths from the Exosphere, in the G2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) back in February. Trainer Paul Perry has given him two trials over the past month, and he has won them both. He was urged along to win the first at Newcastle and again was given a shaken up late when holding off the fast-finishing Magic Of Dreams in his second at Gosford. Likely to lead from two but will have plenty of challengers to contend with over the final 100m.
6. REDZEL – J Bowman (6) 56kgs
Connections of this Snitzel colt will be ecstatic with the form of Japonisme of late given their galloper beat him by three lengths on debut when successful in a Warwick Farm maiden back in March. He backed that up with another good effort, finishing third (1.3 lengths) behind Furnaces in the G3 Kindergarten Stakes on a heavy track. Put aside after that run and missing the rest of the autumn, the Gerald Ryan galloper looks set to reward his patience given his strong Randwick Barrier Trial win a fortnight ago. He was given a kick inside the final furlong of the 735m trip and really extended nicely to race away from his opponents to win by 3.3 lengths.
BONUS BET #3: Deposit $200 BET with $600 at CrownBet.com.au
7. KING’S TROOP – T Clark (4) 56kgs
Trainer Paul Messara has been patient with this well-bred son of Redoute’s Choice, giving him three well-spaced trials since February of this year before he was ready to have him make his debut. On that occasion he chased home the in-form Japonisme at Rosehill before trouncing his rivals in a Warwick Farm maiden at his only run since, winning by close to four lengths. Stable is always with a good progressive colt and this bloke fits the bill.
8. ALART – G Ryan (1)
Recorded his fourth career win from only six starts when getting the better of Captain Shazam first up at Scone before finishing fourth to Rising Destiny at Gosford in a BM 65 (1000m). The Greg Bennett trained galloper was in the second half of the field as they turned for home last start and had to check off heels at the 250m before finishing strongly. Should’ve finished closer than he did last start but for him to winning a race of this quality, he had to be winning and by a space at Gosford. Greg Ryan coming to town for the ride should be seen as a positive but just too hard to see him winning this race off of Gosford form.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Good speed despite the small field with Haptic, Salerno closer to the fence, and King’s Troop and Redzel drawn further out, all capable of finding the front. Berry will be mindful that Vancouver has a big spring in front of him and will be carrying 60kgs however; he’s all class and a winner, making it hard to go past putting him on top. Haptic is a professional type who has drawn well, enabling him to sit behind the speed if it is too hot early. He’ll be right there at the finish. Redzel beat Japonisme convincingly on debut before holding on well in heavy conditions in the Kindergarten Stakes. Japonisme has gone on to better things and think Redzel will as well judging by his recent barrier trial.