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A return to his pet distance has helped Vanbrugh return to winning form in the Coongy Cup at Caulfield.

Trainer Chris Waller had kept Vanbrugh on the fresh side early in his preparation to target the Epsom Handicap during the Sydney carnival.

But the trainer admitted it may have been his fault the four-year-old had under-performed in Sydney.

Ridden by Ben Melham, Vanbrugh ($5) scored a half-length win from Tom Melbourne ($4.80) with the $2.60 favourite It’s Somewhat three lengths away third.

“He had been a little disappointing in his runs early in the preparation and that may have been my fault in the lead-ups to the Epsom last start,” Waller said.

“He is a Group One winner as a three-year-old in the Spring Champion Stakes last spring so it’s good to see him back in this type of form.

“We’ll edge our way closer to something a little bit bigger.”

Waller said he was keeping his options open as to where to head next with Vanbrugh but suggested the Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on the final day of the four-day carnival could be a target.

“There’s lots of options in the next few weeks,” Waller said.

“But he’s not going around in the Cox Plate I can tell you that.

“If the Mackinnon (Emirates) falls away, and it would have to, we might go that way.”

Waller praised Melham’s ride after having words with him at Caulfield last Wednesday.

“Ben’s a young jockey and still makes a few little mistakes,” Waller said.

“We had a few words which isn’t a bad thing as it keeps them on their toes.

“He certainly made amends here today.

“It was a gem of a ride.”

 
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