Victoria Derby assault gathers momentum for ex-pat kiwi trainers

Racing Desk
8 October 2017

An assault on the prestigious Gr. 1 Victoria Derby gathered momentum on the weekend for ex-pat kiwi couple Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young who look likely to have a trio of stable contenders face the starter for the blue riband event on 4 November.

The Cranbourne based couple have six horses nominated for the 2500 metre classic with Main Stage, Johnny Vinko and Sully all looking likely prospects following some sparkling results on Saturday. Reliable Man gelding Main Stage caught the eye as he stormed home from near last to snatch victory in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington with Johnny Vinko also finishing resolutely to hold third in the same race. 

Main Stage Photo: Darryl Sherer

In Sydney an unfavourable barrier draw played against stable runner Sully who made up good ground in the run home to finish third in the Gr. 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m). It was a performance that had Busuttin rueing a lack of tempo in the race that cost his runner a winning chance.

“Once we drew wide we had to go back with him which isn’t the place to be in those Sydney staying races,” he commented.

“They just tend to sit and sprint in all their races over a trip and it was the same on Saturday.

“Once we got back there wasn’t a lot we could do about it and with the ground he made up I definitely think it cost him a win.”

Busuttin was also full of compliments for the performance of his Flemington pair who have made steady progress in recent weeks.

“Both horses have really come on well and we’ve been delighted with how they have been going,” he said.

“Main Stage had been narrowly beaten at his last start and he took plenty of improvement from that run. His performance on Saturday was top notch as he came from near last on the corner and was still going strongly at the line.

“Johnny Vinko is still a maiden but has done nothing wrong to date and we were rapt with how he went in his biggest test to date.

“It was a fabulous result and could only have been better if we had run first and second.”

Busuttin will now use traditional lead-up events to fit his charges for their Derby challenge with Johnny Vinko likely to contest the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) on 25 October while Sully and Main Stage could clash in either the Ladbrokes Classic (2000m) at Caulfield on 21 October or the Gr. 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on Cox Plate Day, 28 October. – NZ Racing Desk

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