Kiwi stayer Sangster will have his final start in New Zealand before coming to Australia for the 2013 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings this Saturday.
Sangster resumed with an sixth place finish over an unsuitable distance in the Group 3 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa on August 17, a performance that pleased trainer Trent Busuttin who will be looking for a similar effort on Saturday.
“We were very happy with the run over 1200 metres,” Busuttin told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“He pinged out, was happy to be there and finished the race off nicely.
“He has trimmed up a bit naturally and worked well in his first gallop back after the race.
“Sometimes you get those stars that run well first-up but can be a bit dour second-up, so he runs similar I will be happy.”
Busuttin confirmed that Sangster will head to Melbourne next week, if he comes through the run on Saturday safely, and will have his first Australian start this preparation in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.
He will then contest either the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5 or the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 12 before a tilt at the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The son of Savbeel performed fairly in Australia during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, finishing seventh in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and third in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m), which has Busuttin confident that the five-year-old can be competitive in the major races this spring.
“Those last two races in Sydney he was definitely on the one down and it gives me a little bit of hope that he get into the Caulfield Cup with 54kg or 55kg and be some sort of a chance,” Busuttin said.
“He is qualified for the Melbourne Cup and he won’t be there to run for the sake of it.
“If he is going well enough we will run him, it is hard for New Zealand to get a runner anymore.”
Sangster is aiming to become the first New Zealand-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup since Ethereal took out the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double under the care of Sheila Laxon in 2001.