Current number one on the 2015 Victoria Derby ballot for Flemington Racecourse this weekend, Chris Waller’s Group 1 winning Sydney galloper Vanbrugh will miss the classic in favour of a stint in the paddock ahead of an autumn return.
Waller entered the history books last Saturday at Moonee Valley with his astounding mare Winx beating home the boys in track record time in the Australasian weight-for-age classic with a nearly five length victory in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m).
The star Sydney horseman, who now boasts 54 Group 1 trophies in the cabinet, won’t get a chance this Saturday at going back-to-back in the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) however with his sole entry for the feature Vanbrugh out of the mix.
Waller won the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s three-year-olds’ showdown 12 months ago with Preferment, who came off a second in the Listed Geelong Classic.
After winning the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 10, his Encosta De Lago colt Vanbrugh looked a livewire hope of handing Waller another Derby triumph.
Late last week however the Kiwi expat made the tough call to bypass the Derby and send Vanbrugh to the paddock before coming back for a big Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival 2016 campaign.
“It was a tough decision to make, however, when taking into account the longevity of Vanbrugh’s career as a colt and future stallion prospect, we believe that there are opportunities to further stamp himself as a superior colt in the autumn in races such as the Randwick/Australian Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and Doncaster Handicap,” Waller said in a statement.
“He will be sent to spell on Monday and will take no further part in the spring.”
Vanbrugh was rated around a $5.50 hope in early Victoria Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, home of Best Tote or SP + 20% on all 10 Flemington races this Saturday, at the time of his withdrawal.
Red hot $2.50 top fancy to break the favourites’ hoodoo, the last to win for the punters being Efficient (2006), is the Mick Price-trained colt Tarzino.
Tarzino showed he was ready for a step up in distance after flying home late to run third behind the Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka, now the $4 second pick for the Crown Oaks on November 5, in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on Cox Plate Day.
A length away second in the Vase, which last produced a Victoria Derby winner in 2010 with the ill-fated New Zealand raider Lion Tamer (2nd), was the John O’Shea-trained Shards.
Godolphin’s Medaglia D’Oro colt Shards is a $13 Victoria Derby hope in the latest futures markets.
O’Shea’s other notable hope at securing a maiden Victoria Derby success is Etymology ($15), a son of New Approach who ran third last time out to Sacred Eye in the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day.
Norman Robinson winning filly Sacred Eye is a daughter of High Chaparral prepared by Lindsay Park’s David Hayes & Tom Dabernig.
She leads betting for the $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) this year at $3.20 ahead of Jameka and the Peter Moody-trained Group 1 winner in Sydney Pasadena Girl ($7) who was far from disgraced when fourth in the Vase.
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