Quiet Start To Big Prep For Sharp ‘N’ Smart

While kicking off Sharp ‘N’ Smart’s spring campaign in the 29th heat on a Heavy9 track wasn’t ideal, Graeme Rogerson was pleased with what he saw from his Group One winner at the Te Rapa trials on Tuesday.

The son of Redwood was the best away in his 1100m heat but was eased back to settle midfield for jockey Ryan Elliot before drifting back to the rear of the field, and finished off strong for fifth.

Graeme Rogerson, who trains the four-year-old in partnership with his wife Debbie, was pleased with the hit-out but will give him another trial before his first raceday outing next month.

“He went for a nice stroll around and I was really happy with him,” said Rogerson, who also part-owns the gelding.

“He doesn’t like wet tracks, but he has been competitive in the wet, he is that good. But he is better on dry tracks.

“We will probably trial him again and then I will decide if he goes to Ruakaka or Hastings on September 9, depending on the track conditions.”

A trip across the Tasman then awaits Sharp ‘N’ Smart where he could be in for a lucrative spring, before jetting to Hong Kong for the international meeting at Sha Tin in December.

“He will have a lead-up weight-for-age and we will decide whether he runs in the Cox Plate (Gr.1, 2040m) or Caulfield Cup (Gr.1, 2400m) before the Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 3200m),” Rogerson said.

“He will be going to Hong Kong.”

Rogerson was also content with stakes winner Solidfy’s 900m trial outing and he is hopeful of adding an elite-level victory to his page by the close of spring.

“He went to the line under a hold,” Rogerson said. “He will probably kick-off at Taupo in the three-year-old race on the 23rd and then we will look at Hastings. His main aim is the 2000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m).”

Rogerson also had a strong representation of juveniles by his resident stallion Ferrando.

“A couple of two-year-olds were good. One of the best was a two-year-old by Ferrando out of Alezan, but he ran into the fence after he looked like he was going to win. He is getting gelded today,” he said.

“I think the Ferrandos will be better on good tracks, Ferrando himself was useless on the wet.

“The track was a lot heavier than I would have liked, but at least we had trials.

“I have got 28 in work and I think they are racehorses.”

Looking ahead to the weekend, Rogerson will take four horses north to Ruakaka’s meeting on Saturday, including debut winner Just As Sharp in the Fireco (1100m).

“I think the three-year-old is a pretty smart horse,” Rogerson said. “He may go back for the Northland Breeders’ (Gr.3, 1200m), I just wanted to give him a look at the track.”

Rogerson will also line-up Golden Hue, Villon, and Black Opal on Saturday.

“Golden Hue is a good Whangarei horse, he likes the sand. Whether he runs in the 65 1300m or the sprint, I haven’t made up my mind yet,” he said.

“Black Opal is a staying horse in the making and Villon will run well. He just had a couple of setbacks, but he ran alright the other day for second.”

– NZ Racing Desk

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