Racing: Sangster to contest BMW

British galloper Sajjhaa easily wins the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan on Sunday.Picture / AP
British galloper Sajjhaa easily wins the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan on Sunday.Picture / AP

Sangster's connections will roll the dice one more time this preparation with the Auckland Cup winner a confirmed starter in this Saturday's A$2.25 million BMW Stakes at Rosehill.

Trent Busuttin gave the green light for a tilt at the 2400m feature after the Savabeel gelding had worked particularly well yesterday morning in the hands of his partner and co-trainer Natalie Young.

"He went over a mile on the Rosehill course proper and gradually picked up to come home the last 600m," Busuttin said. "Natalie rides him in all his work and she said his work was as good as it had been leading into any of his races this campaign.

"I can't fault him and talked to the owners and they are happy to take a punt and it looks like there might be some wet weather later in the week as well.

"There's 2-million reasons to have a crack at it, but he'll be coming home regardless on the Monday after the race."

Sangster will have a change of rider on Saturday with regular partner Opie Bosson remaining at home for Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes Day at Te Aroha.

"We've booked Steven Arnold for the weekend," Busuttin said.

Sangster finished a last-start seventh in the Ranvet Stakes over 2000m at Rosehill and will appreciate the extra distance of the BMW.

Busuttin might have to keep his passport handy with a group one programme back on the table for Airtime after earlier plans for the highly regarded 3-year-old had to be put on hold.

The partners were forced to play the waiting game this year with the High Chaparral gelding, whose Easter Saturday maiden success has encouraged the Cambridge couple to again raise their sights.

"We've always had a lot of time for him and at one stage we thought he was a New Zealand Derby horse, but he's a December foal and was too weak and immature," Busuttin said.

"If he takes the next step we might have a look at the Queensland Derby [June 8] with him - they're only 3 once and he has got all the ability."

Airtime was put aside after one run in the spring and made an impressive return at Ellerslie at the weekend. He sat back and three wide before rounding off strongly in the straight for a decisive victory.

"It was in the back of our minds that he would do something like that," Busuttin said. "He's pretty smart and will stay."

Queensland plans will take on further certainty if Airtime performs up to expectations at his next appearance. "There's a Rating 65 mile for him next at Hawkes Bay in three weeks' time," Busuttin said.

A $120,000 Karaka yearling out of Ascot Farm's 2011 draft, Airtime was bred by Bill Stewart and is from a family he has enjoyed a good deal of success with. It features the Cuddle Stakes winner Adnamira, whose daughter Centamira was the winner of the Avondale Classic.

However, it will be home sweet home for Matamata entire Ocean Park whose European dream is over after his below-par performance in the Dubai Duty Free on Sunday.

This season's Cox Plate winner is to return home to Matamata for a spell before connections decide whether to return to the Melbourne Spring Carnival later in the year or if a stud career beckons for the son of Thorn Park and the Zabeel mare, Sayyida.

The 4-year-old beat only two runners home in the Dubai Duty Free, which was won in record time by the Godolphin mare Sajjhaa. Ocean Park was under pressure 500m from home and was never a factor.

An understandably dejected trainer and part-owner Gary Hennessy has confirmed that he will not proceed with plans to race in Europe.

Hennessy also had a scare on inspecting Ocean Park in his box the morning after the race to find heat in his foreleg.

"I had the vet check that out and he will now return to New Zealand to spell," he said. NZ Racing Desk

- NZ Herald

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