Trainer Trent Busuttin has confirmed that leading New Zealand stayer Sangster will not be included in the third acceptances for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) after he pulled up sore following the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes(2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Sangster finished at the tail of the field in the Turnbull Stakes, more than 23 lengths behind the winner Happy Trails, and Busuttin said that the five-year-old was never comfortable on the firm Flemington surface.
“He doesn’t have the best of feet and his old joints have been around the block a few times now,” Busuttin said.
“He very much felt the hard track, the wind dried it out by that time of the day, and it was just too hard for him.
“He looked after himself but he has pulled up jarred up and sore.”
The Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup have always been the major spring goals for Sangster but he is now no chance of running in the $2.5 million event at Caulfield on October 19; with the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on October 26 set to his next start if he recovers in time for the race.
“Caulfield Cup we won’t be making the third declaration this morning,” Busuttin said.
“You have to be on top of your game to be competitive in a race like that and he is far away from it.
“We will see what a week in the pool does and hopefully get him to the Moonee Valley Cup.”
Busuttin said that he is still hopeful that Sangster can make it to the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5 but admitted the Savabeel gelding would have to improve significantly to be competitive in ‘the race that stops a nation.’
“Not at this stage but he really has to go forward at the same time,” Busuttin said when asked if Sangster’s spring campaign was over.
“We are under no illusions; anytime you bring a horse to Australia you need to bring your A grade to be competitive.
“We are being positive and hopeful but we will just see how he goes day to day.”
Busuttin still has the opportunity to win a Group 1 race in Australia this spring; with classy colt El Roca set to run in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) this weekend.