Expats hoping to go one better in home Derby

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  • February 15, 2024
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By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young are following a familiar path back to their homeland with the New Zealand-bred Interlinked in the hope of completing unfinished Classic business.

The expatriate Kiwi trainers will be represented by Savabeel’s son in the Gr.2 Eagle Technology Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Ellerslie on Saturday as a lead into next month’s Gr.1 Trackside New Zealand Derby (2400m).

“He flies out tonight (Wednesday) and as long as the plane makes it okay, then he’ll be running,” Busuttin said.

They went close to a successful hit-and-run Derby mission from their Cranbourne base in 2017 when Rising Red, by Redwood, finished runner-up to Gingernuts and this time have taken the option of a lead-up run for Interlinked.

“It’s just the way it has fallen. He wasn’t racing in the spring and was running at Christmas time and he looked like a 2000-2400m horse,” Busuttin said.

“It’s still a while away until the Derby in Sydney so it worked in nicely and it’s no different from bringing a horse from New Zealand to Australia to race.

“It’s all very straight forward and he’s fit and ready so we may as well have a go. If he runs well, then he’ll obviously stay on for the New Zealand Derby.”

Interlinked was bred by Waikato Stud and purchased by Busuttin and OTI Racing, whose colours were carried into fourth placing in last year’s Derby by last Saturday’s Te Rapa winer Mark Twain, out of Ohukia Lodge’s 2022 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale draft for $100,000.

He is a son of the Pins mare Daisy Chain, who is a half-sister to the three-time Group One winner Daffodil, with Atishu and Aegon other elite level inners on his pedigree page.

Interlinked will be ridden in Saturday’s Guineas by Sam Weatherley.

“We’ll take it from there with Sam booked for the one ride and work everything else out after that,” Busuttin said.

“He’s by the right sire and is a tough, solid horse. I don’t know how much class he’s got, but he can certainly stay, so that’s not much of a concern.

“Without looking into it too deeply, just watching the Waikato Guineas (Gr.2, 2000m) they looked an even bunch of three-year-olds without there being a stand-out.

“I see Roger James has accepted with his filly (Orchestral) on Saturday, so I presume she’ll be a pretty short-priced favourite.”

Interlinked was unbeaten in his first two appearances at Kilmore and Caulfield before he ran fourth when stepped up to 2000m at Flemington and a last-start runner-up finish over 2040m at The Valley.

“He won his first two starts well and wasn’t ridden that well at his third and then he was good against the older horses,” Busuttin said.

“He didn’t really get around the Valley 100 percent so the bigger track will certainly suit him.

“He has drawn well and we’ll see where he sits in the mix of things on Saturday.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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