Trainer Chris Waller has confirmed Vanbrugh has returned to the paddock with a view towards contesting the 2016 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) during the forthcoming Spring Racing Carnival.
Vanbrugh has been a strong and largely consistent performer for Waller through his thirteen career starts so far; posting four wins and two minors since first appearing on course competitively in early 2015.
Having failed to return to winning form through four starts this time, Waller told AAP he is confident the spring conditions in Sydney will far and away suit Vanbrugh’s action and is confident the 2016 Epsom Handicap will figure as an ideal target.
“With his turn of foot, better tracks are key for Vanbrugh and he would be very competitive at Randwick where he won as a two-year-old and this season in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes,” Waller said in a release.
“I think 1600 to 2000 metres is potentially his best trip and obviously more success at the highest level will enhance the stud prospects of an already valuable colt.”
Debuting for success in the ATC Employee Long Service Maiden (1200m) in February last year, Vanbrugh made a credible transition to black type racing when fifth in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) before returning to the paddock.
Failing to make much of an impact through his first few starts in spring, Waller changed courses with the Encosta De Lago colt, who responded with consecutive wins in the All Too Hard @ Vinery BM70 (1600m) and Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) before posting a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
Trialling well in the lead-up to his competitive return this time, Vanbrugh clearly needed the run when tenth in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) but responded well in placing sixth in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and fourth in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
2015 Epsom Handicap champion Winx progressed to success in the Cox Plate (2040m) three weeks later, for which Vanbrugh currently rests at a quote of $34 in early markets with Ladbrokes Australia.