The 2015 Victoria Derby first acceptances have been released and Group 1 winner Vanbrugh is one of 33 horses that are still a chance to contest the $1 million event at Flemington on October 31.
Vanbrugh was initially touted as a Golden Rose contender, but he started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with two flat efforts at Rosehill Gardens on July 4 and Canterbury on July 25 before he was never in contention in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 8.
The Encosta De Lago colt produced an improved performance when he stepped up in trip for the TAB Rewards Handicap (1580m) at Canterbury on September 2 and he returned to winning form in the All Too Hard At Vinery Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm on September 9 before he stamped himself as a leading contender for the Spring Champion Stakes when he recorded a very comfortable win in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 26.
Vanbrugh went into the Spring Champion Stakes as a dominant favourite and he was settled just off the pace in the early stages before he was shuffled back through the field and looked in trouble, but he showed an impressive turn-of-foot in the final stages of the race to record a maiden win at the highest level of racing.
Trainer Chris Waller is yet to confirm whether Vanbrugh will make the trip to Melbourne for the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), but he remains in work and he impressed his trainer with his track work on Saturday.
Mick Price-trained Tarzino remains a dominant favourite in Victoria Derby betting markets and he is a certainty to press on to the Group 1 staying feature that will be held on the final Saturday of October.
Tarzino recorded his maiden race win with a narrow victory at Ballarat on August 27 and he stamped himself as a leading Victoria Derby contender when he scored a fast-finishing win in The Cove Hotel Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on September 19 before he had no luck whatsoever when seventh in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10.
Other horses that were included in the 2015 Victoria Derby first acceptances include Stutt Stakes runner-up Get The Picture, Perth-based galloper Kia Ora Koutou, Caulfield Guineas runner-up Lizard Island, the consistent Pay Up Bro and last start winner Tally.