George Vancouver (2c Henrythenavigator-Versailles Treaty, by Danzig) continued an unforgettable year for freshman sire Henrythenavigator on Saturday when running out an impressive winner of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt relished the quick ground and was always travelling well. Jockey Ryan Moore seized a gap around a furlong from home and got up to beat the unbeaten favourite Noble Tune by a length and a quarter.
On a softer surface, George Vancouver – a $450,000 weanling purchase – had finished second in the G1 Morny at Deauville and third in the G1 Dewhurst Stakes on his most recent start.
“Ryan gave him a super ride and he has been crying out for fast ground all year,” O’Brien told The Guardian. “His first two runs were in very bad ground, then Joseph (O’Brien) said we should go to Dundalk with him for the fast ground and he won very easily. We knew that a mile would be fine for him, even though he has loads of speed, but ground was what we were always hoping would make the difference. Ryan rode him with real confidence, he had confidence in him from [riding him at] Deauville [in August] and he thought that this race and this track would really suit him.
“We always thought he could be a Guineas horse. Ground is vital to him and today he showed that a mile is well within his compass next year, so we’re delighted with him.”
Moore added: “The whole way around, I was able to save him up. He travelled very easy and he had a small gap but there was that much more there that he had plenty to go through and actually I was in front a little bit too soon on him.”
Henrythenavigator is scheduled to move from America to stand at Coolmore in Ireland next year and his outstanding first crop also includes the G1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes winner Pedro The Great (2c Henrythenavigator-Glatisant, by Rainbow Quest).