Cylinder returns to racing with nail-biting Vain Stakes victory

David Murray
Dave Murray

Cylinder (Exceed And Excel) only won narrowly, but the exciting Godolphin three-year-old stamped his class when running down Harry Angel colt Ouroboros in the dying stages of the G3 Vain Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday, 19 August.

Winner of the G2 Silver Slipper Stakes and G2 Todman Stakes before finishing second in the G1 Golden Slipper Stakes as a juvenile last season, Cylinder travelled wide from his outside barrier for champion jockey Blake Shinn.

Although first-up, he was still good enough to grab Ouroboros right on the post with I Am Unstoppable finishing well for third.

Shinn praised Cylinder for his fighting effort and predicted even better wins were in store for the son of Exceed And Excel and Stakes-winning mare Circular.

“He was a little bit ring-rusty and full credit to the second horse, they made a race of it,’’ Shinn told 

“They put it to us in the early stages and then they put it to us prior to the turn.

‘“My horse was out of his comfort zone early, but he never stopped trying and he showed great determination.

“I wasn’t sure if he’d got there, but I tell you what, his class really shone through. 

“He’s only going to get better into the prep.

“This isn’t his main target today, but it looks good on his CV being a three-year-old colt and he’ll measure up in whatever James (Cummings, trainer) and the team aim up at.”

Cylinder capped an excellent day for Godolphin after consistent four-year-old Va Via (Astern) made it three straight by winning the Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap (1,200m) at Caulfield with Shinn also in the saddle.

Cummings was at Royal Randwick in Sydney, saddling up Cylinder’s half-sister Parisal (Astern) to win the G3 Toy Show Quality (1,100m) at the four-year-old mare’s first run since finishing second in the G3 P.J. Bell Stakes at Randwick on 1 April.

“She’s been one of our best trialers coming through our system,” Cummings said.

“We had Jean van Overmeire riding for us, we dished him a difficult task from the wide barrier.

“But we discussed there was absolutely nothing wrong being wide as long as was able to take his medicine and keep her in a rhythm.

“He knew he had good horses chasing him, but she was going to be ready to find when he asked her and he rode her with that confidence.

“An opportunity well deserved, in my opinion.”

It was van Overmeire’s second Stakes win for Godolphin after piloting Spacewalk to victory in the Listed Bob Charley AO Stakes at Randwick on 10 June.

“He rode our horses well last season, we gave him one Stakes ride last season and he delivered one Stakes win,” Cummings said.

“We’ll just keep aiming Parisal for the low-hanging fruit this campaign and I think we’ll get rewarded in the long term.”