Never afraid to make a big statement, Gai Waterhouse has compared Canonbury Stakes winner Vancouver to Pierro, winner of the 2012 two-year-old triple crown.
And bookmakers have taken note with Vancouver displacing Godolphin’s Ottoman as Golden Slipper favourite immediately after Saturday’s Rosehill win.
Waterhouse described the three-quarter length win over the Canonbury favourite Outreach as the most important learning experience in Vancouver’s short career.
“Today was his biggest learning experience,” Waterhouse said.
“He has got that feel about him. He is a lot like Pierro and he is a stallion in the making.
“He has certain traits I like to see in two-year-olds and is the most exciting colt since Pierro.”
Outreach ($3), a brother of 2013 Slipper winner Overreach who was also trained by Waterhouse, jumped to the front and led the field of six until the final 50 metres.
Vancouver ($5), having his first start since his Breeders’ Plate win in October, was back in the field and Tommy Berry steered him wide on the turn.
The colt baulked briefly when he saw the winning post but was always in control.
“I didn’t think I would get a run through at the top of the straight so I decided to come around them,” Berry said.
“I had to lose a bit of ground to gain a lot.
“He is a very special colt.”
The TAB now has Vancouver at $6 for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper on March 21 with stablemates Ottoman and Furnaces at $8.