Sangster kicks off Melbourne Cup campaign at Te Rapa

By: Mark Mazzaglia
August 16th, 2013

Cambridge trainer Trent Busuttin would love nothing more than his triple Group 1 winner Sangster to represent New Zealand in this year’s Group 1 $6.2m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5.

sangster

Sangster, green, pink cap, taking out the 2011 Victoria Derby at Flemington. Photo by Taron Clarke.

Busuttin pointed out that it is getting harder for New Zealand stayers to gain a start in the Melbourne Cup these days with the influx of European imports, vastly different from the days when Kiwi bred stayers were the in thing.

“It would be good to represent New Zealand,” Busuttin told Racing Network.

“It’s hard for a Kiwi to get a run in the Melbourne Cup these days the way it is with all the internationals.”

Sangster begins his Melbourne Cup preparation at Te Rapa tomorrow in the Group 3 NZ$70,000 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (1200m).

Busuttin will give the Victoria Derby winner one more run at Hastings before heading across the Tasman to take on a Spring Carnival Group 1 campaign.

The Kiwi trainer is happy how Sangster has spelled but is not expecting him to be a threat over the 1200m tomorrow.

“I’m not expecting too much on Saturday, hopefully he can pass a few in the run home,” Busuttin said..

“We’ll have another run here at Hastings over 1400 metres, then we’ll be off to Melbourne.”

“He’s put on 30 or 40kgs naturally just from his four to five-year-old year.

“I gave him eight weeks off after Sydney and he’s come back bigger and stronger.”

Busuttin has picked out the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21 as his Melbourne starting point.

He will then progress to either the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5 or the Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield the following week in his run up to the Group 1 $2.65m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19.

“If he’s going to be a chance in the Caulfield Cup he’ll need to be finishing first-three in one of those races,” Busuttin said.

Sangster lost all form following his win in the 2011 Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington and wasn’t back in the winner’s stall until February 2013 when he took out the Group 1 NZ$200,000 Darci Brahma International Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.

Sangster then won his next two starts, the Group 2 NZ$85,000 Cardinal Logistics Avondale Gold Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie followed by the Group 1 NZ$500,000  Barefoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie.

Another trip across the Tasman saw Sangster run a mighty race when third to Fiveandahalfstar in the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

In early Caulfield Cup markets Sangster is at the good odds of $126 while in the Melbourne Cup betting he is marked at $101.

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