Sangster shortens for Auckland Cup

Sangster (NZ) was rewarded with a second Group 1 in the Darci Brahma Stakes (2000m) on Saturday and he can make it three in the Auckland Cup next month.

Sangster was a G1 winner of the 2011 Victoria Derby but has been sidelined since failing to find his best form during a light campaign twelve months ago.  The lightly tried four-year-old has shown the benefit of that lengthy break this preparation and followed up a second placing in the Anniversary Hcp (1600m) at Trentham with a command performance at Te Rapa.

“We want to get him into the Auckland Cup with a winning weight and we’ve been very wary of the hard tracks,” trainer Trent Busuttin said.  “He really let down on them today.  The race was run at a good tempo and he’s a solid stayer.”

Sangster pushed forward and was ready to pounce in the straight.  He forged clear to win as he liked by nearly three lengths from the (NZ) mares Dolmabache (Redoute’s Choice) and Asavant (Zabeel).

“We will probably back him up now in the Avondale Cup next weekend,” Busuttin said.  “He’s a big, gross horse who needs his racing and Opie Bosson is the best in the business – he’s proved that again today.”

Sangster is currently the $4 pre-post favourite for the Auckland Cup at Ellerslie on March 6.  He was a $19,000 buy from Kilgravin Lodge at the 2010 NZ Bloodstock 2YO Ready to Run Sale.

Waikato Stud sire Savabeel got him from Irish bred mare Quinta Special who won over 1800m at Wolverhampton in November 2002 before arriving in New Zealand the following year.  Second dam Al Galop (Affirmed) was a 2200m winner at Longchamp and she is a half-sister to Santa Anita Group 1 winner Both Ends Burning.