Spring Champion Stakes winner Vanbrugh will be well suited by the 1800m of the Group 1 $1m Peters Investments-Kingston Town Classic at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained Vanbrugh was at the top of his game at the end of his three year old season with a hat trick of wins that culminated with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick during the 2015 Sydney Spring Carnival.
Vanbrugh took twelve months to regain winning form but found his way back into the winner’s circle with a victory in the Group 3 $150,000 Priceline Pharmacy Coongy Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on October 15.
Waller then stepped the four year old back up to Group 1 company and he ran a respectable race to finish sixth to Awesome Rock in the renamed Mackinnon Stakes, the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 5.
Waller was happy with Vanbrugh’s performance in the Emirates Stakes and thinks the drop back to 1800m won’t be a problem.
“I thought his run in the Mackinnon (Emirates Stakes) was very good, he was on the pace and fought on really well, and that was a $2 million, 2000-metre race, so I’m sure the 1800 metre here will be perfect,” Waller said.
“Vanbrugh is a horse that looked very good winning at Caulfield during the spring carnival and we’ve always known he was a horse with significant ability.”
“He won the Spring Classic as a young horse but sort of lost his way after that. But now it seems he’s back to his best and he wasn’t far away at Flemington last time either.”
Melbourne jockey Ben Melham has been aboard Vanbrugh for his last two Spring Carnival runs and will travel to Perth to partner the Encosta De Lago stallion again this weekend.
Vanbrugh has drawn barrier seven in the sixteen horse Kingston Town Classic field and is one of three runners that Waller will saddle up in the Group 1 weight for age Ascot Summer Carnival feature race.
Stablemates Good Project and Mackintosh are both backing up after running second and fourth to Scales Of Justice in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on November 19.
Hugh Bowman takes the ride on Good Project who has drawn nicely at barrier five while Damien Oliver will stick with Mackintosh who will jump from gate ten.
Vanbrugh is currently marked at $13 for the Kingston Town Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au who have last year’s winner Perfect Reflection as the $4.20 favourite.
Railway Stakes winner Scales Of Justice is the second pick at $5 just ahead of multiple Kiwi Group 1 winner Kawi at $5.50.