Derby Option for 2015 Spring Champion Winner Vanbrugh

A stable rep for Sydney’s top trainer Chris Waller confirmed there was a chance this year’s Spring Champion Stakes 2015 winner Vanbrugh could be Melbourne bound for a Victoria Derby bid at the end of the month.


2015 Spring Champion Stakes winner Vanbrugh could press onto Melbourne’s Victoria Derby at the end of the month. Photo: Steve Hart.

On Saturday at Royal Randwick Racecourse, the Waller-trained Encosta De Lago colt Vanbrugh broke the recent hoodoo of favourites in the $500,000 Group 1 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), becoming the first to salute for the punters since Platinum Scissors (2002).

A winner of his past two races on the trot, Vanbrugh came into the Spring Champion on the back of an impressive one and three quarter length victory in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 26, which produced four Spring Champion Stakes winners on the trot until last year.

The Team Hawkes-trained Jadeer led early from Flying Achilles with Tatoosh rolling up into third looking to improve on his three Group 3 seconds on the trot leading into the Group 1.

Tatoosh moved into second stalking the pacemaker, Jadeer getting the soft lead up front while Man Of Choice ran along in third on the inside of Flying Achilles who had settled into fourth.

Waller’s recent Newcastle Spring Stakes winner Devil Hawk made a move at the 600 metres pulling to the outside and quickly moving up to lead over Jadeer as they went into the turn.

Around the bend the favourite Vanbrugh and South African jockey Glyn Schofield were still third last.

He came charging up on the outside over the final 300 metres however giving chase with market mover Too Good To Refuse, ridden by another South African hoop Robbie Fradd, going stride for stride with the eventual winner before tiering out.

After getting shuffled right back and without things going exactly to plan, Vanbrugh’s class shone through and prevailed in the finish as the drifting $2.50 favourite through

“He probably got shuffled back through the middle,” Waller’s stable rep Liam Prior said post-race.

“However he’s got a knack of being very patient Glyn Schofield, that’s what experience buys you.

“At the 600 metres I was pretty worried, but he showed his true class and he’s a very good colt and has the Group 1 to his name now.”

Vanbrugh held a half-length margin over a very brave runner-up in the Desleigh Forster-trained Brisbane raider I’m Belucci ($21), the Captain Sonador colt looking a horse to follow with this being his maiden black-type run.

Finishing off the Spring Champion Stakes Trifecta in third was then the always-brave Man Of Choice ($8) prepared by Nowra horseman Luke Price, the Manhattan Rain gelding coming off the third in the Gloaming Stakes and impressive again from the inside alley in the Group 1.

Prior said Waller would talk over with connections what future plans were for the untapped Spring Champion Stakes winner, but that a possible trip to Melbourne for the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) on October 31 was an option.

“An untapped colt like him will be a much better horse in the autumn but he could quite possibly push onto the (Victoria) Derby,” he said.

“On the strength of today’s win you’d say why not?”

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2015 Spring Champion Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Randwick Race 6 – 10/10/2015

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 1 VANBRUGH Chris Waller Glyn Schofield 6 56.5kg $2.50F
2 9 I’M BELUCCI Desleigh Forster Tim Clark 1.3L 9 56.5kg $21
3 5 MAN OF CHOICE Luke Price Sam Clipperton 1.4L 1 56.5kg $8
4 10 HIERARCHAL Anthony Cummings Jason Collett 1.6L 8 56.5kg $41
5 4 TOO GOOD TO REFUSE Desleigh Forster Robbie Fradd 1.7L 3 56.5kg $4.60
6 8 JADEER Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Tommy Berry 3.2L 5 56.5kg $16
7 3 DEVIL HAWK Chris Waller Tye Angland 3.7L 2 56.5kg $13
8 6 GOLD AMBITION (NZ) Bjorn Baker Brenton Avdulla 3.8L 10 56.5kg $20
9 2 TATOOSH Paul Perry Corey Brown 4L 4 56.5kg $7.50
10 7 FLYING ACHILLES Gerald Ryan Joshua Parr 4.5L 7 56.5kg $31


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