Cambridge couple sticking to original plans

Cambridge trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young briefly considered having both their stable stars competing in Melbourne this weekend.

Sangster was a surprise entry in the Gr. 3 $A200,000 Alternate Railway JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley tomorrow night and handicapped at 60kg, while El Roca is scheduled to make his Australian debut in the Gr. 3 $A175,000 BECK Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on Sunday.

“We threw Sangster in the noms for Friday night as an option if we felt he needed another run,” said Busuttin. “But he pleased us the way he worked the other morning. He’s a happy horse and will go straight into the Turnbull, as planned.”

The Gr. 1 $A500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday week promises to be another cracker of a field, similar in class to last Saturday’s Underwood Stakes, which attracted 11 Group One winners..

“It’s going to be one of the strongest Turnbull fields for years,” said Busuttin. “He’ll be running against the two Melbourne Cup favourites (Puissance de Lune and Fiorente) as well as the likes of Royal Descent, Super Cool. Foreteller and Sea Moon).

“He’s doing everything right and I was pleased with his run last time.”

After finishing second-last in the Gr. 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings, Sangster produced an eyecatching run for sixth, less than two lengths from the winner, Fiorente, in the Gr. 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday week.

Meanwhile, Busuttin is thrilled with El Roca and he also has a confident jockey (Craig Newitt) aboard the Fastnet Rock colt on Sunday.

“Craig rode him in work the other morning and he was impressed with him,” said Busuttin. “It was good work and it was good to let him get a feel of the horse before Sunday. It’s given him a bit of confidence.

“I can’t fault him (El Roca). He travelled over well and he’s settled in nicely. It’s all going well and sure I would have liked to see him drawn in a bit more, but really I can’t complain about the draw (seven).”

El Roca has impressed in winning his two starts in New Zealand and, though he defeated some very promising three-year-olds last start when taking the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes at Ruakaka, Busuttin admits he is being thrown in the deep end this weekend.

“There are some smart ones in the field and it will give us a good guide on him,” said Busuttin. “Romantic Touch, Gai Waterhouse’s colt, won the Group One in Brisbane and beat Zoustar, who went on to win the Golden Rose, so that’s good form, and I know Mike Moroney’s horse (Marwood) has won in lesser company but he’s looked good doing it.

“Fast ‘n’ Rocking is smart, too. It’s not going to be easy but I think he’s up to it.”

El Roca’s main mission in Melbourne is the Gr. 1 $A1 million BECKS Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12 and to earn a spot in the field he needs to shape up on Sunday. “Really he’d want to win this one or run a good second or third to be a serious chance in the Guineas,” said Busuttin.

El Roca still holds a nomination for the Gr. 1 Sothy’s NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 9, so if he doesn’t earn a Caulfield Guineas start he could be back for the classic. “That’s an option but at this stage we’re just concentrating on Sunday’s race and getting to the Caulfield Guineas,” said Busuttin.