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Rising Red earns a ticket for NZ Derby

After making the move to Melbourne last year, Trent Busuttin didn’t expect to be making a return to New Zealand so soon.

Busuttin and partner Natalie Young are taking Rising Red home to contest the New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 4.

Rising Red earned his ticket to the Group One race with a fighting win against older horses in the OTI Handicap (2400m) at Sandown on Wednesday.

“We’ve moved over here to take one home to New Zealand,” Busuttin said.

Ridden by Dwayne Dunn, Rising Red was sent out the $2.10 favourite before scoring a half-length win over It’s A Silvertail ($18) with Richard Of Yorke ($5.50) another length away third.

Busuttin said the possibility of a wet track in New Zealand was one of the main factors in the decision to take the gelding home for the Derby.

“Does he have the class to win it, probably not,” Busuttin said.

“It won’t be a weak Derby, because they never are, but it will be an even Derby as there’s no stand-outs.

“They’ve had wet lead-ups and in New Zealand and when it gets wet, it stays wet.”

While he may not have won easily on Wednesday, Busuttin was impressed by the performance.

“He still beat tough European horses,” Busuttin said.

“I would say he could go over there and run in the top five if things go his way.”

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