Classy Kiwi stayer Sangster has arrived in Australia and is set to contest the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The 2011 Victoria Derby winner started his campaign with an impressive sixth place finish over an unsuitable distance in the Group 3 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) in Te Rapa but finished towards the tail of the field in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings last Saturday.
Trainer Trent Busuttin blamed the heavy Hastings track for the poor performance and said he is happy with how the five-year-old has acclimatized since arriving in Australia.
“It was an average run but it was second-up after a pretty good first-up run and as you know stars can put in a bit of a slow one second-up,” Busuttin said on Racing Ahead.
“He has pulled up well and we just threw him on a plane to get him to the warmer weather and the better tracks of Melbourne.
“He got in on Saturday and he came through it good.
“He had a gallop this morning at Flemington and by all reports galloped very well.”
The Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes has become a much more open affair after connections of glamour mare Atlantic Jewel elected to contest the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) instead of the feature race on the Moonee Valley card but Busuttin is still not expecting Sangster to be among the winning chances.
“I wouldn’t go in there expecting a winning run he has got to put his hand up and run well if he is any sort of chance in those bigger races later on,” Busuttin said.
“He is still a bit off peak and obviously we are setting him for the two big races.
“He still has a heap of improvement and a long way to go into the coat yet.”
Busuttin has already changed the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival path for Sangster, with the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes replacing the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) as his first-up assignment, but said the Savabeel gelding is still on track to contest the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5, the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 and the Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 5.
Steve Arnold will ride Sangster on Saturday for the second time on Saturday after the pair combined to finish third behind Fiveandahalfstar in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens earlier this year.