An ambitious plan formulated at a minor New Zealand horse sale a year ago had its crowning moment on Australasia’s biggest stage when Sangster won the Victoria Derby at Flemington.
The victory over Induna from the global Darley operation was a triumph for young New Zealand trainer Trent Busuttin and the second consecutive Derby on a kiwi for Hugh Bowman.
Busuttin, who turned 32 on Tuesday, was almost lost for words when Sangster ($A13) held off Induna ($A5.50) by a head with Sabrage ($A16) 1-1/4 lengths third at the end of the 2500 metres.
He prepares Sangster for a syndicate which paid $19,000 for the then colt at a ready to run sale.
“It’s just amazing to be here, I can’t describe it,” Busuttin said.
Busuttin brought Sangster to Sydney in August to experience Australian racing. He won one race then was placed three times in four runs leading up to Saturday’s Derby.
Bowman won last year’s Derby on Lion Tamer and answered the call when New Zealand’s champion rider James McDonald was sacked after Sangster ran second to Sabrage in the Norman Robinson Stakes.
Bowman took Sangster to the front before the home turn and the gelding sustained a long run down the straight as raging favourite Manawanui ($2.50) tried to keep in touch but weakened to finish sixth.
“Trent Busuttin, a young New Zealand trainer, he’s done a magnificent job and I’d like to thank him and the connections for giving me the opportunity,” Bowman said.
“I’d like to take up New Zealand residency, it’s a terrific thrill and it’s the cream of the crop when it comes to racing in Australia.
“I feel honoured to have won it a couple of times now.”