Trent Busuttin knows from personal experience the high standard of horse needed to win the Ladbrokes Plate for two-year-olds at The Valley and he is hopeful Gleneagles proves the right fit.
Last year the Busuttin and Natalie Young stable produced Tagaloa to win the 1000 metre race and three months later he took out the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes.
The year before Brooklyn Hustle defeated Yes Yes Yes, who went on to win The Everest the following year.
On Saturday, Busuttin is looking forward to the debut of Gleneagles in what the trainer regards as another outstanding edition of the race.
“Look at the stables. Look at the breeding of the horses. It’s going to be a strong race again,” Busuttin said.
Of the 18 acceptors, including the three emergencies, there are 14 youngsters lining up for their first start.
However, Busuttin’s confidence has been dented by Gleneagle’s tricky barrier draw in 12.
“I was hoping he would get an inside draw and have a soft run but this changes things,” he said.
“I could wait until Flemington the following week but I don’t like two-year-olds running down the straight.
“There’s 18 two-year-olds in the race, I’m not sure why they didn’t split them into two divisions.”
Gleneagles has impressed the stable with his performances in a couple of jump outs, including one at Cranbourne on Monday.
“He’s a smart colt who is a natural runner and we’re looking at the big two-year-old races,” Busuttin said.
Initially Gleneagles is being set for the $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast on January 16.
TAB fixed odds has Gleneagles as a $7.50 chance for Saturday with another first-starter from the Phillip Stokes stable, Brazen Boy, a $2.80 favourite after winning his only trial in Adelaide by 14 lengths.
Busuttin said Tagaloa was a laidback type who surprised him with what he did as a two-year-old while Gleneagles shaped as a natural-running colt.
“Tagaloa was a relaxed laidback horse who we didn’t expect would be a sprinter, while Gleneagles is a short-coupled, running two-year-old,” he said.
“We’ve got a big opinion of him but he’s a long way from the finished product. He wants to run through the bridle but he’s got heaps of natural ability.”
Gleneagles was purchased for $500,000 by ARAMCO Racing at the Magic Millions sale.
He is from the first crop of former star two-year-old Capitalist out of smart Street Boss mare Scarlet Billows.
Busuttin said Tagaloa had returned to work this week and was being aimed at the Australian Guineas.