Clear race favourite Vanbrugh has justified his clear favouritism at Royal Randwick this afternoon; producing a monumental turn of foot to take out the featured Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) by a length.
Jumping from the gates fairly, jockey Glyn Schofield elected to settle Vanbrugh off the pace of the race’s early leaders Jadeer, Tatoosh and Man Of Choice, who set only a steady tempo away from the barriers and over the back straight.
Receiving a reasonable run in transit, the Encosta De Lago colt was passed by a number of his rivals and sat third from the tail rounding onto the final straight and was forced to pull wide.
Taking a moment to steadily and wind up, it appeared as though Vanbrugh placed slightly too great a task for success in the Spring Champion Stakes, but the three-year-old more than displayed his class in charging clear to hit the line a length ahead of I’m Belucci; Man Of Choice running on for third.
Trainer Chris Waller’s stable foreman Liam Prior was on hand for Vanbrugh’s impressive win in the Spring Champion Stakes, and confirmed the horse will return to the stable before a decision is made on a berth in the 2015 Victoria Derby (2500m) on October 31st.
“He probably got shuffled back through the middle and latter part of the race coming down the side,” Prior said.
“He’s got a knack of being very patient Glyn Schofield and that’s what experience buys you.
“I said before the race ride him like the best horse in the race and I have to admit at the 600m I was pretty worried, but he showed his true class.
“He’s a very good colt and now he’s got a Group 1 next to his name.
“Chris said at the beginning of the preparation he thought he was up to begin competitive in Group 1 company and he’s franked that today.
“We’ll discuss it with the owners over the next couple of days. He’s going to be a much better horse in the autumn, but he could quite possibly push onto the Derby and on the strength of today’s win you’d say why not.”
Schofield timed his run on Vanbrugh perfectly for success in the 2015 Spring Champion Stakes and was impressed by the class displayed by the three-year-old in the win.
“The first half of my race couldn’t go any better,” Schofield said.
“But then the horse I was following just decided to ease back and let him in, he got on the bridle and as soon as he did that he switched straight off again and I thought beautiful.
“In these three-year-old races over a bit of ground you want to know you’ll get to the line well, so there was no point on me pushing the button too soon.
“Even though there was a lot happening I wasn’t going to do anything outside of where I wanted to be, I didn’t want to take him out of his comfort zone.
“He proved too strong.”
Vanbrugh has posted win in each of his last three starts, having taken out each of the All Too Hard @ Vinery Plate (1600m) and Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) leading into this afternoon’s success.