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The experience and cool head of Glyn Schofield have helped Vanbrugh pass a distance test to win the Group One Spring Champion Stakes.

Schofield was never going to be bustled on the Chris Waller-trained favourite, easing back when it looked like there might be trouble ahead.

Punters let Vanbrugh drift from $2 to $2.50 on Saturday with some doubts over the 2000m.

But for Schofield, it was just a question of keeping him comfortable and out of trouble.

“The first half of my race could not have gone any better,” Schofield said.

“Corey Brown on Tatoosh seemed to make a bit of a forward move and then the horse that I was following just decided to ease back and let him in.

“Vanbrugh got onto the bridle and as soon as he got on to the bridle I just thought, beautiful.

“A lot went on mid-race but at that stage I was just two to three lengths off them.

“In these three-year-old races over a bit of ground you want to know that you are going to get the line well so there is no point pushing the button too soon.

“I had to let what happened in front of me happen. I didn’t want to take him out of his comfort zone.

“I knew I was on the best horse and he was going to run over the top of them.”

Run over the top of him he did, with Queensland visitor I’m Belucci ($21) chasing him to within 1-1/4 lengths, nosing Man Of Choice ($8) out of second.

Trainer Desleigh Forster was thrilled with I’m Belucci although not surprised he finished in front of fifth-placed stablemate Too Good To Refuse, the $4.60 second favourite.

“I’m Belucci has been running on small tracks in Queensland and I knew when he got on a big track like Randwick he would improve,” Forster said.

“They will both come back here in the autumn for the big races.”

Vanbrugh may head to the Victoria Derby but with Waller in Melbourne on Saturday, racing manager Liam Prior said the discussion would wait.

“We will discuss that with the owners over the next few days and for now we’ll just savour the Group One because they are hard to win,” he said.

“He could quite possibly push on to the Derby.”

Vanbrugh’s win was the third this season for the Waller-Schofield combination which has enjoyed success with Boban in the Memsie Stakes and Kermadec in the George Main.

 
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