Leading New Zealand stayer Sangster failed to fire during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival but trainer Trent Busuttin has revealed that the five-year-old will return to Australia in the autumn to contest the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
The Sydney Cup will be conducted as part of ‘The Championships’ at Royal Randwick next year and has had its prizemoney upgraded to $1 million after previously being worth just over $500,000.
Sangster failed to handle the firm tracks that were prevalent in Melbourne during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and Busuttin is hopeful that the Savabeel gelding will be better suited to the conditions in Australia during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“He just jarred up on the firm tracks but he’s over that now,” Busuttin said.
“He comes back into work shortly and he’ll be aimed towards the Sydney Cup.
“The Sydney Cup’s now worth $1 million so it looks a nice race for him and he just wants some cut out of the ground.”
Sangster started his spring preparation with a promising sixth place finish over an unsuitable distance in the Group 3 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) but was only able to beat home a single runner on a bog track in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings.
The five-year-old returned to Australia with a fair sixth place finish behind Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) but pulled up sore after finishing at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
The Auckland Cup winner had his most successful campaign in Australia during the 2011 Spring Racing Carnival; finishing third in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and second in the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) before winning the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
After winning the Group 1 International Stakes (2000m), the Group 2 Avondale Gold Cup (2400m) and the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) in New Zealand, Sangster returned to Australia for the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
He missed the kick and had no chance when seventh behind Foreteller in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) but bounced back to finish third behind Fiveandahalfstar and Silent Achiever in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Sangster will be the first New Zealand-trained stayer to win the Sydney Cup since My Eagle Eye won the 1992 edition of the race for Murray Baker if he is successful in the Group 1 event next year.