GOLDEN SLIPPER STAKES (GROUP 1)
Rosehill Gardens, Turf, 1200m
21 March 2015
Ever since his victory in the Todman Stakes (Gr.2), trainer Gai Waterhouse and jockey Tommy Berry had been banging on about the virtues of their Golden Slipper (Gr.1) aspirant, Vancouver; Saturday proved them right. It goes further than that though, particularly if you're tuned into Radio Berry, who's adamant this colt will win both the next two legs of the Juvenile Triple Crown, the Sires Produce (Gr.1) and the Champagne (Gr.1). He's just as adamant he'll win it even further, having had to overcome the outside draw in the Slipper. If they're right, Australia has a freak on its hands, a colt who's bred to go two turns but who turns it on just as well at the shorter end of the distance spectrum.
It seems we got it right too, with our purchases at the Melbourne Premier Sale at the beginning of the month. Two of the major place-getters in Saturday's race have connections with the stock we bought. In Vancouver's case, he's a brother to the dam of our High Chaparral colt (High Chaparral added another Group One winner to his “CV” at the same meeting when Contributor came home in the Randvet Stakes (Gr.1): we also managed to get our hands on a filly by the perennial Slipper high-achiever, More Than Ready, whose son Ready For Victory, filled the minor placing in this year's renewal; while the sire of our third acquisition, Exceed And Excel, did not manage quite what his name prophesied, his sixth candidate for the race equals the long-standing record entry – we bought Lot 506, a smashing daughter of the multiple champion sire.
And if you'd allow us a little licence, at November's CTS Ready To Run Sale in Jo'burg, we sold Umthetho, an athletic November-foaled son of Encosta Da Lago to Markus Jooste, Chris Van Niekerk and Dr. Zweli Mkhize: the recently-retired former champion sire provided the Slipper with its runner-up, English, the only one in the field to provide any check to Vancouver.
So, if you have any pretences about owning the equivalent of a Slipper candidate one day, you don't need to go to Sydney to find it. You'll find them in November at the Ready To Run.