Sargent loves his remaining | Breednet

New Zealand expat trainer John Sargent says his secret to training stayers is pretty simple: get the right horse and lots of long, slow work.

Now based in Sydney, Sargent added to his long-distance horse record with two major wins in Australia at the weekend: the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) with Gin Martini on Saturday and the Jericho Cup (4652m) at Warrnambool with Bastida a day later.

Gin martini (NZ) won the Listed Sandown Cup over 3200m - image Grant Courtney

Sargent’s remaining record before this weekend includes two Wellington Cups, a New Zealand Cup and Oaks wins on both sides of the Tasman.

He credits his track record to the education he received while working in the UK and the way he sources his horses – sometimes out of necessity.

“I did five years in Newmarket and learned a lot about further training. It showed me how much longer and slower you can give them – we don’t have the same facilities, but you can do a lot of that kind of work around the track,” Sargent said.

“This kind of long, slow work, along with a lot of walking and swimming, is particularly good for taking these horses to two miles and even 4652m.

“The other main reason is what I buy on sale. I can’t afford the two-year-olds and the sprinters, so I go to New Zealand and buy mostly the left-over pullets, along with some foals.”

Bastida, who led home a New Zealand-bred trifecta in the Jericho Cup, beating Botti and Epizeel, was bought by Sargent of for $41,000 from Hawke’s Bay breeder Mick Ormond, who remained on the horse after being sent to Australia. .

“I trained Bastida’s dam Sirani and won a few races with her and I was delighted to be able to get him. It’s that good Black Mamba family,” Sargent said.

“Mick Ormond’s great-grandfather’s brother fought in the First World War so it was quite a touching thing that he wanted to come and watch the race.

“Jericho is a great race to win and gains action every year.”

Sargent said Bastida should prove capable of performing over more standard distances and would not need 4600m to be competitive.

He was also very pleased with Gin Martini’s effort, especially as it was her first race at Caulfield.

“I thought he would keep the distance, but it’s very difficult to win at Caulfield without galloping there,” Sargent said.

“It’s quite a tricky track and she didn’t handle the bend in the straight both times. Craig Williams (jockey) said he always thought she would win the race, it was just a case of balance.”

Sargent said Gin Martini could return to Sydney to contest the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) on December 10 before taking a break, while Bastida would be present after the Jericho Cup.

The pair could find themselves crossing paths later in the season as both could head to the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington in May, a race where the winner earns an automatic entry into the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup 2023 (3200 m). ).

“It’s worth a shot because a lot of horses just don’t run two miles, and we know he does,” Sargent said.

“The Adelaide Cup is another potential option – it’s two miles and just below the top level.”

So Dazzling is a contender for the G1 Australian Oaks - image Grant Courtney

Sargent said he was very happy with the team he had and was looking forward to the spring. He has plenty of time for Perfect Thought, winner of the Gr.3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 29, as he told his filly So Dazzling, a $200,000 purchase from the Beaufort Downs Draft at New Zealand Bloodstock National Last Year was a sure contender for the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) in the autumn.

“She was going really well but had a heart fibrillation in the Wakeful Stakes. She’s bounced back from that and you’ll see a different filly in the Australian Oaks.”

Sargent said he was a big fan of New Zealand thoroughbreds and expected to be active at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale early next year. – NZ Racing Desk

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