Kiwi Star Sangster 2013 Melbourne Cup Bound

Cambridge-based horseman Trent Busuttin has confirmed his former Victoria Derby winner Sangster will kick off their new season campaign at home in New Zealand before travelling across the Tasman once again this time for a shot at the Melbourne Cup 2013.


2011 Victoria Derby winner Sangster will target the Caulfield Cup - Melbourne Cup double this spring. Photo: Taron Clarke.

The rising five-year-old Savabeel gelding has already amassed over $1.6 million in career earnings thanks to trio of Group 1 turf triumphs.

Two of those were achieved in New Zealand this last season gone with the other an Aussie Group 1.

They first broke through at elite level as a three-year-old in their first trip to Australia when their 2011 spring campaign ended with a narrow victory over Induna in the $1.5 million Victoria Derby (2500m) that October.

Sangster returned to Oz for the autumn but from their four runs in Melbourne and Sydney they could only manage one top three finish.

They enjoyed much more success back home in the summer – autumn this year racking up two more Group 1 victories with the International Stakes at Te Rapa in February as well as an impressive two and a half length win in the Auckland Cup over the two miles at Ellerslie.

Those runs earned them a third Aussie campaign at the end of the Sydney Autumn Carnival, Sangster having a two hit prep.

Their first was a seventh to Foreteller in the Ranvet Stakes (2000m) which they improved on when getting back up to the mile and a half for The BMW (2400m) a Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day.

Busuttin is now keen to stretch them back out to that distance and beyond for an ambitious spring in Victoria.

He confirmed they would be bought over to target the famous cups double of the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 and then the ‘race that stops a nation’ – the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 5.

But first they will resume at Te Rapa on August 17, one of two scheduled runs in New Zealand, having been back in work and doing everything right for the past month.

“He’s been back in since the second week of June and he’s about to start galloping,” Busuttin told The Informant this week.

“He’s come back a bit heavier and is looking good. Maybe he’ll have a run at the Te Teko trials for a day out, but that’s not certain.”

Busuttin is also looking at the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) for their second run on August 31 before going to Melbourne for the $400,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.

“He’ll then go over for the Underwood Stakes and will run in either the Turnbull Stakes or the Caulfield Stakes,” Busuttin said.

“The Turnbull is set weights and penalties so is probably the better option, but the Caulfield Stakes is a week before the Caulfield Cup and it’s similar timing to when he went from the Darci Brahma into the Avondale Cup.

“The Auckland Cup was 17 days after the Avondale Cup so the timing between the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups is also much the same. It worked last time so I’d like to replicate it.”

The $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) is held at Flemington on October 5 followed by the $400,000 Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on the 12th.

In futures Caulfield Cup betting Sangster is rated a $61 chance while in the pre-nomination Melbourne Cup odds they are at an even juicier $101.

To put a sneaky few dollars on Sangster early in the ante-post Cup markets before prices firm over the coming weeks head over to now and enjoy a punt with the Aussie bookie rewarding you better!