Star New Zealand apprentice James McDonald gave Spring Champion Stakes hopeful Sangster his seal of approval after the lightly-raced three-year-old scored a narrow win in heavy conditions at Warwick Farm on Tuesday.
Trained by Trent Busuttin at Cambridge in New Zealand, Sangster scored by half a head over Road To Summer in the Free Entry Today Handicap (1200m) with first-starter Hoylonny a short half-head away third.
“His form is really good at home and he works like a good horse,” McDonald, who rode a double at the midweek meeting, said.
“Wait until he gets over 2000 metres which is what we brought him here for, he’ll be pretty hard to beat then.
“He’s bred to stay.”
Busuttin is the son of trainer Paddy Busuttin for whom Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller worked for about six years before starting out on his own when Busuttin left New Zealand for Singapore.
Waller was on hand to congratulate Busuttin who is eyeing the Listed Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) for Sangster’s next start at Randwick on September 3.
“He is bred to be a mile and a half (2400m) horse so he probably shouldn’t be doing what he’s doing over 1200 metres,” Busuttin said.
“He is nominated for the Spring Champion Stakes. The best three-year-olds probably go down to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas, he can get through the wet and you can get a wet spring in Sydney.”
Busuttin said it was hard to gauge the level of the opposition being a midweek race, but was pleased to get the result at the Savabeel gelding’s first Australian start.
The Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) on October 1 is also on the radar for the Peter Snowden-trained Ambidexter who broke through at his third start with victory by 1-1/4 lengths in Tuesday’s Ashcroft Handicap (1400m).
“He has a good pedigree, he’s a full-brother to (Group One winner) Skilled and he’s a horse that has always shown us ability,” Snowden said.
“He has had three starts now and there’s probably a case to say he could have won all three.”
Snowden said Ambidexter would get the chance to prove himself in stronger company in the Group Three Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle on September 14, with the Spring Champion an option should he perform well there.
Snowden has trained two of the past three Spring Champion Stakes winners.
“He’s got to prove to me he’s that type of horse, I think he is, but we’ll know more after Newcastle,” Snowden said.