Sangster smashes rivals in Cup

Sangster could not have produced a better dress rehearsal for the Group I Auckland Cup than he did at Ellerslie today, but he could yet make another appearance before the March 6 feature.

Following up his strong win in the Group I Darci Brahma International Stakes at Te Rapa a week earlier, Sangster simply crushed his rivals in the Group II $85,000 Cardinal Logistics Avondale Cup (2400m), scoring with ease for rider Opie Bosson.

As thrilled as he was to see Sangster add another Group win to his tally, which includes the Group I VRC Derby, co-trainer Trent Busuttin caused a surprise when he suggested he may yet back the horse up in the Nathan’s Memorial as a final leadup to the Auckland Cup. The Nathan’s Memorial is on the first day of the Auckland Cup Carnival, just four days before the 3200-metre feature.

“It was good to see him do that, but I wasn’t happy when first the first half of the race he threw his head and was carrying on,” said Busuttin. “We might have to back him up in the Nathan’s to take the edge off him for the Cup.

“He’s a horse you’ve got to smash with work and he wants hard racing. We’ll just see what happens in the next few days.”

Busuttin and his partner, Natalie Young, are also sure to take on board the advice of Bosson, who was most impressed with Sangster’s performance.

“He got a nice track into it and cruised up to them like he was carrying 49 kilos and not 59,” said Bosson. “He did it easily.”

Sangster was the topweight with 59kgs today and drops to 54.5kgs in the Auckland Cup. “The 59 was an issue today, but he was the class horse in the field and he proved it,” said Busuttin.

Sangster settled midfield and simply cruised up to be sixth turning for home. When asked for an effort by Bosson, he always looked certain to take the event.

Cambridge stables provided the quinella in the Avondale Cup with Savanah Rush fighting on strongly, while Chaparrone ran on late for third ahead of Princess Kyoto, Single Minded and Hiace.