INBRED 4X4 to Northern Dancer, the 2015 Golden Slipper hero Vancouver is the fifteenth winner of this $3.5million jewel of world juvenile racing to carry Danehill in its pedigree. Also the sixth Slipper winner for his trainer Gai Waterhouse, acclaimed as the world queen of horse mentors, Vancouver is a powerhouse looking bay colt by the Darley dual hemisphere used Medaglio d’ Oro, an American bred son of the Sadler’s Wells sire El Prado, and is from Skates, a Danehill mare whose ten starts included a win at Sandown (1000m) and six seconds, three of them Listed events.
He is the second Slipper winner from a Danehill mare, the other being Darley bred, raced and standing Elusive Quality (USA) colt Sepoy in 2011. On top of this Danehill equaled Star Kingdom’s record of being sire of five Slipper winners, Danzero (1994), Flying Spur (1995), Merlene (1996) – his first three crops, Catbird (1999) and Ha Ha (2001).
Since then Danehill’s sons have provided the Slipper winners Dance Hero (2004, by Danzero), Stratum (2005, Redoute’s Choice), Miss Finland (2006, Redoute’s Choice) and Forensics (2007, Flying Spur).
Redoute’s Choice’s son Stratum went on to be represented by a Slipper winner in his first crop, Crystal Lily (2010), and another son, Snitzel, is the sire of the dam of 2014 winner of the race, Mossfun (by Mossman).
Also Snitzel is the sire of Sweet Idea, third in 2013 behind Exceed and Excel offspring Overreach and Sidestep. Second and third to Mossfun in 2014 were Earthquake, a filly by the Danehill sire Exceed and Excel filly, and Bring Me The Maid, one by Sebring, a More Than Ready Golden Slipper winner from a Flying Spur mare.
Snitzerland (Snitzel) was a long neck second to Pierro in 2012; and Mosheen, a filly by the Danehill sire Fastnet Rock, was second behind Sepoy in 2011. Fastnet Rock is also sire of Lake Geneva, the third placegetter to Vancouver.
This year’s Slipper winner Vancouver is unbeaten in all his four starts, all stakes in Sydney and in order of appearance the Breeders’ Plate, Canonbury,Todman and Saturday’s race. He was bred in the Hunter Valley for John Camilleri (Fairway Thoroughbreds), sold for $185,000 at the Gold Coast and is trained by Waterhouse for seven owners.
Raced by Coolmore associated Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor with prominent Sydney owner breeder Michael Sissian, the dam Skates has produced three stakes winners, Vancouver, Just Momente and Captain Coltish. She is a three-quarter sister to stakes winners and sires of stakes winners Bradbury’s Luck (Redoute’s Choice) and Murtajill (Rock of Gibraltar) and is from Skating, a dual Group1 winner by imported Melbourne Cup winner At Talaq and from Raffett, a mare by Raffindale, winner of the Epsom and runner up in the Cox Plate. Raffindale was also imported.
The Waterhouse trained English (Encosta de Lago – Court, by Anabaa (USA), a filly raced by her breeders, the Kellys of Newhaven Park, Boorowa, finished a solid second in Saturday’s Slipper and third placegetter was Lake Geneva (Fastnet Rock – Hips Don’t Lie, by Stravinsky (USA). A million dollar Coolmore produced Easter yearling, Lake Geneva is in the team Hawkes stables for a group of owners, including James Bester.