New rider confirmed for Sangster


Top Aussie jockey Hugh Bowman has gone back to the Cambridge “well” in search of a further Victoria Derby win.

As pictured above, Bowman won last year’s Group I Flemington three-year-old feature on Lion Tamer, who was prepared at Cambridge by Murray and Bjorn Baker. This year his chances rest on the ability of another Cambridge trainer, Trent Busuttin.

Busuttin confirmed tonight that Bowman will take the ride on Sangster in the $A1.5 million 2500-metre event on Saturday week. “His agent rang through and confirmed the engagement,” said Busuttin. “I’m happy to have him on. He’s a big race rider and knows how to win the Derby.”

Sangster has been ridden in three of his five Australian outings by champion Kiwi apprentice James McDonald, who copped a 14-day suspension on the horse when second in last Saturday’s Group III Norman Robinson Stakes at Caulfield.

McDonald resumes riding on Derby day, but after discussions with Sangster’s owners, Busuttin has opted for an Australian rider familiar with the hype of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. “James is a top rider, but he made a blue on Sangster last Saturday,” said Busuttin. “He took off too soon on him. If he’d waited a bit longer in the straight he’d have won.”

Sangster produced a brave performance and looked to be holding on with 150 metres to run but over the final stages his effort told and he was run down late to be narrowly beaten by the Mike Moroney trained Sabrage.

“Sangster worked with Mike’s horse before the Derby and even Mike acknowledged after the race that my horse would be tough in the Derby on that run,” said Busuttin. “I’ll work him with Mike’s horse again on the course proper at Flemington next Tuesday. I’ll be making sure Sangster is super fit for the Derby.”

Sangster won first-up in Australia and his latest runs have earned him many admirers, particularly his third in the Group I Spring Champion Stakes and last Saturday’s Norman Robinson Stakes, both over 2000 metres.

Sangster is the first horse Busuttin has taken to Australia on his own account, though he did take Six O’Clock News to Melbourne in the spring of 2009 when training in partnership with his father, Paddy.

Paddy Busuttin has experienced Derby success in three countries, having won the NZ Derby at Ellerslie with Castletown as well as the Singapore Derby with Bocelli and this year’s Macau Derby with Imabayboy.

“He’s also had placings in the Queensland and AJC Derbys but he hasn’t had a go at the Victoria Derby,” said Trent Busuttin. “It’s a big thrill for me to have a runner in it and if he can win I’ll be celebrating big time, that’s for sure.”