Two years after setting up a Randwick stable, John Sargent has the quantity and depth to make a significant impact on the spring carnival races.
The New Zealander has already made his presence felt in some of Australia’s biggest races winning the 2013 VRC Oaks with Kirramosa and this year’s ATC Australian Oaks with Gust Of Wind.
Having recently taken over the Segenhoe Thoroughbred team, Sargent now has 45 horses on his books and is starting to build a squad capable of figuring in the upcoming feature races.
“There are some nice horses coming through so it looks good for the spring,” Sargent said.
One horse who won’t be there is Group Two placegetter Omeros who has passed a vet check and is days away from being sold to Hong Kong.
Others, like new acquisition Centre Pivot, will be striving to prove they are worthwhile carnival contenders.
Formerly trained by Sam Kavanagh, Centre Pivot will have his first start for Sargent in a 1300m race at Rosehill on Saturday.
A winner up to 2000m, the horse is expected to find his rivals too sharp this weekend but Sargent is hopeful Centre Pivot can continue into the carnival and build on the promise he showed in the summer when he won four city races.
“He’s trialled well, you’d think it would be a bit short for him fresh up because he’s going to be getting up over a mile-and-a-half but he’s fit and well and it’s a good race to kick off in with him,” Sargent said.
“It will be interesting to see what level we can get him through to and whether he’s good enough to get down to Melbourne.”
Blake Shinn will ride Centre Pivot, one of two Rosehill runners for Sargent along with another stable newcomer in Eletist who will contest the benchmark 75 handicap over 1400m.
The horse has won half of his six starts in New Zealand and believing his opportunities were limited in his homeland, his owners opted to send him to Sargent.
“It’s won its last two in a lot easier company than what it’s against on Saturday but the stakes are a lot better here and the owners want to have a go here,” Sargent said.
“He does like it wet so let’s hope it’s at least soft or slow, or worse, that will suit him.”