Busuttin stable firing big time

Trent Busuttin has put the pressure on his partner, Natalie Young, after enjoying a 100 per cent strike rate at Te Rapa today.

Busuttin saddled up Almon and The Darling One for fresh-up wins today and now the Cambridge trainer’s attention turns to Melbourne, where Young has been in charge of the stable’s two stars, Sangster and El Roca.

Sangster will take a step further towards the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups when contesting the Gr. 1 $A500,000 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington tomorrow and El Roca is on target for the Gr. 1 BECKS Caulfield Guineas a week later.

El Roca shaped as a serious threat in the Caulfield Guineas when finishing second in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude and Sangster goes into the Turnbull Stakes with an eyecatching last-start sixth behind Fiorente in the Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley.

Busuttin is under no illusions over success in tomorrow’s Turnbull Stakes with Sangster, but he is quietly confident of the Auckland Cup winner’s prospects in the Caulfield Cup.

“It’s a race I believe us Kiwis can win,” said Busuttin. “Sangster is a genuine Caulfield Cup chance and so is Silent Achiever.”

The Roger James-trained Silent Achiever will clash with Sangster tomorrow with Steven Arnold electing to stick to her over the Busuttin –Young runner, his mount in the Feehan Stakes. Noel Callow will ride Sangster.

Busuttin isn’t concerned about the change of rider. “I’m happy to get Noel Callow,” he said. “He’s a world-class rider. He broke all the records in Singapore before Joe Moreira came along.”

Busuttin says Young has been very pleased with Sangster this week. “I’d be rapt if he ran fifth or sixth on Saturday but realistically I could see him running ninth or tenth and being beaten only about three lengths,” he said. “Whatever he does will top him off for the Caulfield Cup.

The wins of Almon and The Darling One today came as no surprise to Busuttin, especially the latter’s victory after Almon had taken the second event. “They had both been working well enough,” said Busuttin.

Almon was having his first start since December last year and he finished strongly in the hands of Michael McNab to take the Cambridge Jockey Club R65 1200 from Springloaded, who tried hard.

“He had a chip removed in an operation after his last campaign,” said Busuttin. “That could have been bothering him for a while.”

One of the part-owners of Almon is Hamilton lawyer Martin Bradley, who is also in the syndicates which race Sangster and El Roca.

The Darling One was also ridden by McNab and was travelling like a winner a long way from home in her first start since last January. “She was absolutely trotting,” said McNab. “Going past the 600 metres I was struggling to hold her in behind. She won it easily and should really go on with it.”

Busuttin praised McNab for his handling of the two horses. “He’s an under-rated rider and he’s done a lot of work for us,” said Busuttin. “It would be good to see him get more opportunities.”

The Darling One was registering her second win from 11 starts and her record should be much better, according to Busuttin.

“Things went wrong at the end of last season for her,” he said. “She’s Group Two placed and obviously has a lot of ability.”

The Darling One has been nominated for the Gr. 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile at Riccarton next month and Busuttin is hoping to see her slip into the field. “She would be a competitive lighweight,” he said. “We might have to get her rating points up to get in it.”