Victoria Derby winning trainer Trent Busuttin says critics of the race are barking up the wrong tree and there is an obvious reason why Derby horses these days struggle to compete on the big stage in their future careers.
It’s like clockwork that the annual debate flares about whether the 2500m of the Derby is too taxing for spring three-year-olds.
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Danny O’Brien, who has Young Werther as a leading fancy in the Derby, has suggested the Derby could be run at 2000m and he is supported by other industry forces.
However Busuttin, who won his first Group 1 with Sangster in the 2011 Victoria Derby and has Albarado ($7.50) and Wertheimer ($31) in Saturday’s Derby, won’t hear of it.
“They say the Derby ruins horses, but that is just utter crap,” Busuttin, who co-trains with Natalie Young, told Racenet.
“Tie The Knot, Octagonal, Nothin’ Leica Dane all ran in the Derby.
“My horse, Sangster, went onto win a Group 1 as a five-year-old.
“You can just keep on naming them.
“I can tell you the reality of it, why a lot of Victoria Derby horses aren’t competitive anymore in the big races anymore.
“It’s pretty simple, because they are not good enough to compete against the Europeans who are being bought for a fortune every year.
“Look at what’s run first and second in the Cox Plate (Sir Dragonet and Armory) and the horse that ran second in the Caulfield Cup (Anthony Van Dyck)
“These sort of horses weren’t around ten years ago when horses were coming out of the Derby. The Derby horses were then meeting the AJC Derby winner, the AJC Oaks winner.
“But none of the three-year-olds these days are competitive going forward into big races these days because they are not good enough to beat the expensive purchases that are in the Cups.”
One of Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young’s Victoria Derby contenders, Albarado, wins the Caulfield Classic. Pic: Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Busuttin says he doesn’t understand why the Derby distance is singled out for regular criticism yet you hardly ever hear criticism of the VRC Oaks which is run over the same distance in Melbourne Cup week.
“Why don’t these critics also go on about the Oaks?” Busuttin questioned.
“It’s five days later but you never hear about the Oaks which is a weaker sex.”
The former Kiwi also insisted there was an obvious option for critics of the Derby distance – simply don’t run their horses in the $2million race.
One of Busuttin’s prominent owners, Mark Pilkington, chooses not to aim his horses at the Derby.
The trainer says that is the right of every owner – but there are plenty of owners and trainers who are keen to run their horses in the Derby.
“No-one is putting a gun to anyone’s head to run these horses,” Busuttin said.
Sangster after winning the 2011 Victoria Derby.Source:News Limited
Busuttin believes he is in the Derby with a fighting chance with both his gallopers who will run in the Sangster colours as both have owners who were in the 2011 Derby winner.
However he thinks Patrick Payne’s Cherry Tortoni is clearly the one to beat.
“This Cherry Tortoni, Paddy Payne knows a good horse and if he says he is a good horse then he is a good horse,” Busuttin said.
“He’s the one to beat, he has had two runs over 2000m and he is rock hard fit to run the 2500(m) as are our horses.”
Co-trainer Natalie Young and Trent Busuttin. Pic: AAP.Source:AAP
Originally published asTrainer aims up at Derby critics
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