It’s all systems go for 2011 Victoria Derby winner Sangster (NZ) in the G1 Darci Brahma International Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.
Fresh off a gallant second to promising mare Glad (NZ) in the Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham, the Cambridge based gelding takes on the biggest test of his current campaign on Saturday.
Sangster (4g Savabeel – Quinta Special by Spectrum) is heading towards his main goal in the 3200 metre Auckland Cup. “I’m really happy with his condition and he’s pretty close to full fitness,” co-trainer Trent Busuttin said. “He came through the Trentham run in good shape and has thrived with the race and trip away.
“I guess like most trainers our main concern for Saturday is the track. We got some rain earlier in the week but it will have dried out since then and he won’t like it too hard. I expect him to put himself somewhere near the speed on Saturday from a handy draw and then Opie Bosson will have plenty of options depending on how it is run from there.”
Safely through Saturday’s event, Busuttin will decide whether the horse needs another run before he takes on the Auckland Cup at Ellerslie on March 6. “The Cup has always been his main aim this campaign as he is beautifully weighted at 54.5kg.”
The first two home in Trentham’s Thorndon Mile – Historian and Lady Kipling – look the main dangers along with former Queensland Derby winner Shootoff who returned to form with his third in the Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
Interest will also centre around 2012 New Zealand Oaks winner Artistic who, alongside Wellington Cup placegetter Dolmabache, gives the fairer sex a strong hand in the event.
Victoria Derby winner on trial for Auckland Cup