2014 Toorak Handicap Hope Cauthen Joins Busuttin

New Zealand trainer Trent Busuttin welcomes another stakes winning Kiwi into his Melbourne base this spring carnival with Toorak Handicap 2014 bound Cauthen moving stables ahead of their new season return.


2014 Cox Plate nominated Cauthen has had a stable change and will race exclusively in Melbourne this spring. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

Promising Darci Brahma stallion Cauthen was previousl prepared by Andrew Campbell in Opaki in NZ.

They will be transferred to Victoria and Busuttin’s care flying in on Wednesday however for their four-year-old debut and spring campaign with Ladbrokes.com.au to offer the best odds on all their target races.

“He is on a plane on Wednesday and joins the stable then,” Busuttin told AAP this week.

“He will be at the track on Thursday with a saddle on his back and we’ll go from there.”

They join a smart contingent too with one of their star stablemates being Group 1 performer El Roca who resumes in Saturday’s $120,000 Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) going up against Memsie Stakes bound Moment Of Change.

After a scintillating eight and a half length win last July at Te Rapa to kick off their career Cauthen travelled across the Tasman and was competitive in Melbourne with a win in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) over subsequent Cox Plate winner Shamus Award.

They had a horror run next start at Flemington however and failed when 12th behind Long John in the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1400m) after which they pulled up with thumps.

After a four and a half month let-up they resumed back home at Trentham on January 25 for a narrow second behind Silver Eclipse.

But more setbacks followed with a stress fracture suffered in that first-up summer run ruling them out of racing until now.

Having spent the past six or so months recovering, Cauthen now has an ambitious preparation ahead with Busuttin to target up to three Group 1 features.

Early options for the lightly raced galloper to win at the highest level include the $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on September 28 and the $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) back at the track a fortnight later on Caulfield Guineas Day.

“We’ll find a Rating 90 race or something like that to kick him off in and if he can do well there, a race like the Rupert Clarke Stakes or the Toorak Handicap would probably be ideal targets for him,” Busuttin said.

How they are travelling in these races will then determine whether connections press on with the dream of running them in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.

Cauthen was among the bumper Cox Plate nominations taken last week but they are far from a confirmed starter in Australasia’s weight-for-age championship.

“If he happened to win those races there’s the Cox Plate there, but obviously that’s the cream of the crop. So we’ll see,” Busuttin said.

Current Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have the New Zealander as a $34 chance with fellow Kiwi Silent Achiever from the Roger James’ stables as the sole $11 favourite.

Cauthen will sport the same colours as Busuttin’s Victoria Derby winner Sangster who handed their trainer with an Aussie elite level back during the 2011 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

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