Champion trainer Chris Waller has some decisions to make after his progressive three-year-old Japonisme scored another impressive win in the $125,000 Group III Smithfield RSL Club San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The victory was the son of Choisir’s fourth in a row and Waller now has to decide if Japonisme will join the likes of his Group I-winning stablemate Press Statement and Vancouver, who was beaten into fourth, in the $1 million Group I Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) in three weeks.
“I think we’ve got a Group I horse on our hands,” Waller said. “The Golden Rose is a very hard race to bypass, it’s in our backyard, but I really think he’s a good sprinter.
“1400 (metres) to me is not really a genuine sprint, it’s getting more like a mile for a three-year-old this early in the season.
“If you back off now you could easily get ready for a race like the Coolmore Stud Stakes.”
Japonisme settled in the third pair off the speed, trailing Vancouver, before overpowering his opposition in the straight.
It was a very tactical race early and we managed to get into the perfect position,” Japonisme’s jockey Tye Angland said.
“Vancouver dragged me up into it coming into the straight and then my bloke did the rest.
“He let down very strong and when he got to the front he showed he was still a bit green, he wanted to lay in.
“He’s a lovely horse and will continue to improve.”
Japonisme ($4.40) defeated Gerald Ryan’s King’s Troop ($6.50) by a half-length with the John O’Shea-trained Haptic ($11) a length back in third.
Tommy Berry rode the $2.40 favourite Vancouver into fourth and after the race said the horse will take significant benefit from the outing.
“He got into a good spot early but got a little bit lost when they sprinted because they did sprint quick,” he said. “Fitter horses beat him on the day but he ran well.”
Bookmakers eased Vancouver’s Golden Rose price after his first racetrack defeat but he remains Sportsbet’s favourite at $3 ahead of Japonisme, the new second elect, at $6.50. Press Statement and Pride Of Dubai are equal third picks at $9 with Kings Troop’s shortening into $11.