Sangster snares third Group 1 in Auckland Cup

Sangster (NZ) will head overseas for his next start after a comprehensive victory in the G1 Auckland Cup (3200m) on Wednesday.

The four-year-old showed his intentions early in the race when jumping a length clear of the field.  That ensured he had the box seat for the marathon.  Jockey Opie Bosson elected go for home rounding the home and the son of Savabeel tore from the field to win by more than two lengths from El Soldado (Colombia) and Chaparrone (High Chaparral).

“It was a good performance and it was what we expected from him,” trainer Trent Busuttin said.  “We were hopeful that he would get the distance and he did it tough hitting the front that far from home.“

Busuttin has been busy mapping out the next step for Sangster and there are plenty of options on the table.  “We would like to take him to the Singapore Cup but the quarantine conditions make it a tough choice as the trip home requires six weeks in quarantine which would effectively take away the spring,” he said.

“The other option is the Group 1 BMW Stakes in Sydney in around a month and that is something we are looking at as well.  For a race like that he is going to have to take another step up and really prove himself at weight-for-age level.”

Given Sangster’s Auckland Cup performance, the Australian Cups in spring also come into consideration but Busuttin is well aware of the challenges those races pose.  “A race like the Melbourne Cup attracts some outstanding horses including the European stayers who are some of the best in the world but in saying that it’s a $6 million race and it would be great to have a runner.”

Sangster capped off a great day for his sire Savabeel who celebrated a Group double with his daughter Diademe winning the G3 Westbury Stud Classic (1400m).

The Cambridge based stayer has now won 6 of his 19 starts for over $1.83 million in stakes and his Group 1 priors were in the 2011 Victorian Derby and 2013 NZ International Stakes.  He was sold by Kilgravin Lodge at NZ Bloodstock’s 2010 Ready to Run Sale for $22,000.

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.