Melbourne Cup 2012 Aim for Sangster

Boom Kiwi galloper Sangster is being prepared for a return trip down under, trainer Trent Busuttin hoping the son of Savabeel can reproduce their Victoria Derby winning form and take out the Australian Guineas 2012 at Flemington during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival before being bought back for the ambitious aim of the 2012 Melbourne Cup.


Victoria Derby winner Sangster could target the 2012 Melbourne Cup in the spring

Last season the three-year-old travelled across the Tasman and embarked on a successful six-race assault in Sydney and Melbourne, at the end of which they boasted over $1 million in career prize money.

Sangster’s season in Australia started with a gritty win over 1200 metres at Warwick Farm in August and culminated with a victory in one of the spring’s richest races, the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 29.

Their Cambridge-based trainer Busuttin is hoping Australia will again be a country of great spoils for his stable ace having named the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) as the main autumn aim for Sangster.

“He’s still got maturing to do physically but he has muscled up a lot,” Busuttin said of Sangster who had been back in work for six weeks.

A 1400 metre weight-for-age race at Te Rapa in New Zealand on February 11 is penciled in for Sangster’s resuming run this year, after which they are likely to head straight to Melbourne for a second-up shot at Australian Guineas success.

“It all depends on what he does first-up over 1400 metres,” Busuttin said in regards to Sangster’s autumn program.

“If he runs well and hits the line strongly then he’ll run in the Australian Guineas.”

If not the Australian Guineas, a back-up option for the three-year-old included the $200,000 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) in Sydney at Rosehill, also run on Australian Guineas Day.

Busuttin named the $200,000 Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley on March 16 as their third-up run should they go the Australian Guineas way in Melbourne, which would be followed by runs in the $500,000 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 31 and then the $1.5 million Group 1 AJC Australian Derby (2400m) two weeks later at Royal Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

“In his two runs in Melbourne (during the spring) he was wide throughout and had to hit the lead a long way out and from there he tended to stargaze,” Busuttin said.

“It would be nice for him to get a run where he has cover and then he can sprint with 200 metres as I think that would make a difference.”

Following the autumn grand final plans for Sangster in 2012 included a possible shot at Australia’s richest race, the iconic $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington.

“He’ll get a run (in the Melbourne Cup 2012),” Busuttin said.

“Whether he’s up to Melbourne Cup class that remains to be seen.

“I know everyone said it was a weak Derby, but if you go through the Derby results in recent years there’s always a top horse or two to come from each run.”

The Lloyd Williams-owned Efficient became the first horse since the mighty Phar Lap (1929 – 30), to win the Victoria Derby and then the Melbourne Cup 12 months later in 2006 and 2007.

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