NZ Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale celebrated its second Group 2 double of the season at Ellerslie on Sunday with standout performances from Valbuena (NZ) and Sangster (NZ).
Valbuena (Darci Brahma) secured the first leg of the double in the Avondale Guineas (2100m). The lightly raced three-year-old put himself right into NZ Derby contention with a strong staying performance.
“I said to from Day 1 this horse has ability and it was great to see him run away from the field in the last 200 metres,” trainer Bruce Wallace said. “He beat most of his main Derby rivals so it would be great to think that he could do it again in the Group 1.”
Valbuena is raced by Peter and Philip Vela after being offered by Kilgravin Lodge at the 2011 Ready to Run Sale. His sire Darci Brahma is having a good season with Nashville, Darci be Good, Sir Lovesalot and Recite all successful at stakes level.
Sangster (Savabeel) completed the G2 Ready to Run double with an easy win in the Avondale Cup (2400m). A last-start winner of the G1 Darci Brahma International, he made light work of 59kg to win by an authoritative two lengths.
“He was the class horse in the field and he proved it,” trainer Trent Busuttin said. “It was the first time he hasn’t been three-deep going out of the straight in a long time.”
Sangster drops to just 54kg for the Auckland Cup on March 6. “We are confident that he will see out the 3200 metres,” said Busuttin. “He is a horse that you need to work hard so we may look to give him another run to top him off.”
Busuttin bought Sangster from Kilgravin Lodge at the 2010 Ready to Run Sale for $22,000. He has earned more than $1.53 million with the 2011 Victoria Derby accounting for 60% of that total.