Top Melbourne jockey Craig Newitt is giving his mount Vanbrugh a good lightweight chance in the Group 1 $1m Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Vanbrugh will only have to carry 51kg in the Epsom and is dropping back to Handicap conditions after two Spring Carnival runs at weight for age for a fifth in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 20 followed by a fourth in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 17 both behind high profile stablemate Winx.
The Chris Waller trained four year old is marked as one of the outsiders of the field at $20 with Ladbrokes.com.au but Newitt can see him getting a good run from barrier seven in the thirteen horse field.
“He’s obviously been racing at weight-for-age this preparation, and only been getting beat four, 4.5 lengths behind the good mare,” Newitt told racing.com.
“He drops to 51kg, and he’s a horse that’s drawn out a little bit so he should get a bit of room to wind up.
“He’s a 2000m winner, a Group 1 winner, so he should be strong late.”
Vanbrugh claimed his Group 1 winning trophy with his victory in the $500,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick almost twelve months ago but hasn’t won a race since.
The Encosta De Lago Entire had four runs during the Sydney and Melbourne Autumn Carnivals with his best effort being a fourth to Tarzino in the Group 1 $600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill.
Vanbrugh is one of four runners Waller will saddle up in the Epsom and will join last start Theo Marks Stakes winner Mackintosh and Kingston Town Stakes winner McCreery as well as the promising Torgersen.
The in-form Hauraki heads the market order at $5 and is coming off a last start second to Winx in the George Main Stakes which followed a first up win over Epsom rival Le Romain in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 3.
McCreery has firmed up slightly to be on the second line of betting at $5.50 just ahead of the Darren Weir trained Makybe Diva Stakes winner Palentino at $6.
Market order for The Epsom at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Hauraki, $5.50 McCreery, $6 Palentino, $7 Fabrizio, $9.50 Happy Clapper, $12 Mackintosh, Le Romain, $17 Sons Of John, $17 Heavens Above, $20 Vanbrugh, $26 Torgersen, $31 Dibayani, $41 Mighty Lucky.