Trainer Chris Waller has revealed that the 2016 Rosehill Guineas will be the major Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival target for Spring Champion Stakes winner Vanbrugh.
Waller opted not to press on to the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) with Vanbrugh following his victory in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 10, but the Encosta De Lago colt has been back in work for two months and will have his second barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Monday.
The leading Sydney trainer is keen to record another Group 1 victory with Vanbrugh and he told Sky Racing HQ that the three-year-old will likely contest the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5 before he returns to Sydney for the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 19 and the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 2.
“You can’t really hang your hat on winning a Spring Champion Stakes,” Waller said.
“We would love to win a Doncaster with him, but we are realistic about all our horses.
“The perfect race for him is the Rosehill Guineas.
“I would like to avoid Press Statement with him because I think that Press Statement is our trump card at the moment, so he would probably divert to an Australian Guineas on the same day as the Randwick Guineas, come back for the Rosehill Guineas and freshen up for the Doncaster.”
Vanbrugh was touted as a potential Epsom Handicap contender when he started his spring campaign, but he performed poorly as a favourite at Canterbury on two occasions and was never able to get into the race when he finished sixth behind Sebring Sun in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 8.
The colt improved dramatically when he was stepped up in distance and he returned to winning form at Warwick Farm on September 9 before he took out the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 26 and the Spring Champion Stakes.
Vanbrugh is currently available at 2016 Australian Guineas odds of $10 with Ladbrokes and he is on the sixth line of betting behind Western Australian galloper Perfect Reflection ($7), New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Xtravagant ($7), Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement ($8), Darren Weir-trained Mahuta ($9), the promising Palentino ($9) and star Kiwi filly Risque ($9).