Group One tilts could await Busuttin-Young pair

Cambridge trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young will get a better idea on their firepower for upcoming Group One features when they saddle runners at Ellerslie and New Plymouth on Saturday.

The partnership will produce Predator in the Gr.2 Auckland Eye Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Ellerslie as a potential lead-up to the Gr.1 BMW New Zealand Derby (2400m) at the same track on March 5, while promising two-year-old Caorunn steps out in the Phoenix Park 2yo Classic (1200m) at New Plymouth, with success sure to thrust him into calculations for the Gr.1 Sistema Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 12.

Savabeel gelding Predator has won two of his three starts and finished second in the other – behind subsequent Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes winner Valley Girl at Ellerslie on Karaka Million night.

“The Avondale Guineas is as good a three-year-old race as you’ll see. With the exception of Valley Girl, it’s basically the Derby field,” Busuttin said.

“We’ve got all the main protagonists from the Waikato Guineas plus Predator and Provocative, so they are all there. He’s drawn a good barrier and he should get a nice run in behind them. He’s had to lead through circumstances, but he’ll definitely be taking a sit this weekend.

“He’ll run well but it’s a good field and we’ll find out where he stands in the Derby pecking order.”

Palmerston North jockey Jonathan Riddell takes the ride.

Busuttin said Caorunn had prepared well for the Phoenix Park 2yo Classic, having come through his brave fourth in the Karaka Million in good order.

“He’s done very well and he’ll be hard to beat on Saturday,” said Busuttin, who has booked Palmerston North jockey Masa Tanaka for the mount.

“Tennessee has gone under the radar a bit, but her form is very good and she’ll be hard to beat along with Kingsman and Leading Role. But we’re going down there thinking we’ve got the right horse to win.” – NZ Racing Desk

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