Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young prepared their first two-year-old winner in Melbourne when Magic Millions candidate Tagaloa won Saturday’s $125,000 Strath Haven Preston Sprint Plate (1000m) at The Valley.
Michael Walker positioned Tagaloa ($4.40) outside the leader Yulong Island ($8), who ambled through the first 400 metres in 24.63 seconds.
Tagaloa was then asked to win the race approaching the home turn and moved clear in the straight for a convincing one-length victory.
Baaqyah ($5.50) covered extra ground and stayed on gamely for second, with Yulong Island finishing third, a further 2.25 lengths adrift.
“It’s certainly nice to have a spring two-year-old,” Busuttin said of Tagaloa, who was purchased for $300,000 from the draft of Arrowfield Stud at this year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sale.
WATCH: Tagaloa win at The Valley
Tagaloa was one of three juveniles in the eight-horse field to have race experience after finishing third in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 7 (Oaks Day), with Baaqyah runner-up in that event.
“On debut at Flemington he was very wound up and the occasion got to him and he was on the wrong part of the track as well,” Busuttin said.
“Today he was a lot calmer, took everything in his stride and did it nicely.”
Busuttin suggested Tagaloa would be prepared for the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 11 rather than the $1.5m G1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22.
“He won well but the wow factor for a Blue Diamond … he probably still needs to improve. There’s six weeks to the Magic Millions, it’s a $2 million race and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“Just looking at past two-year-olds, Sunlight went up to Magic Millions and then came down for a (Golden) Slipper but she’s a different beast altogether isn’t she?
“And Capitalist as well won the Magic Millions and then ran in the Golden Slipper but from what I’ve seen I don’t think, from what I’ve seen, you can go up there and come back in the timeframe.”
Busuttin and Young had prepared 12 minor placegetters from 37 starters in Melbourne two-year-old races prior to Saturday’s breakthrough with Tagaloa.