Dansili's Vassal Too Strong in Christmas Cup

Mark Smith - Saturday December 16

Chris Waller could never be accused of rushing the 6yo import Vassal (GB) into stakes company.

On Saturday, the son of Dansili was making his 28th start in Australia since arriving from France and he was tackling black-type for the first time.

Carrying big weights at his previous two starts, Vassal appreciated the weight drop to 53kgs in the Listed Christmas Cup at Randwick and it proved the decisive factor.

With Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, Vassal overpowered the odds-on favourite Broadside in the closing stages to win by one and three-quarter lengths with Prince Cheri (FR) a long-head back in third. (photo Steve Hart)

Waller said he had no doubt the weight made all the difference.

"I don't' want to be a nark about it but gee it stops horse in staying races," Waller said

"I realise you have to get a big field to get a spread of weights but it stopped him last start and if I was a punter I would be disappointed. He dropped to the minimum weight today and tracked into the race beautifully. I thought John O'Shea's horse, Prince Cheri went well and we were on the back of it and it took us beautifully into the race and just bought a bit out at the right time.

"To be fair this is his Melbourne Cup. If you have got a horse that is competitive in these sought of races, the New Years Day Cup and Australia Day Cup he will be in those races – as long as he does not get too much weight.

Formerly trained in France by Andre Fabre, Vassal arrived in Australia as a maiden but his first stakes success advances his record to 7 wins, 6 seconds and 4 thirds from 32 starts with earnings of $395,442.

He becomes the third stakes-winner for his dam Vituisa (Bering) after Group III Newmarket Jockey Club Cup winner and Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak third Veracity (Lomitas) and Listed winner Valletta (Cape Cross).

Vituisa is a daughter of the Group II Newmarket Sun Chariot Stakes winner La Confederation (Nureyev).

Vassal becomes the 127th stakes winner for Juddmonte Farm's Dansili (Danehill).


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