A more developed and powerful version of Sharp ‘N’ Smart will be unveiled on Saturday when the top three-year-old resumes at Trentham.
The high-class son of Redwood will open his campaign in the Gr.2 Life Direct Wellington Guineas (1400m) ahead of Group One targets at home and a third trip to Australia where he has already stamped his quality.
Sharp ‘N’ Smart looks sure to again prove a handful for his age group rivals and will also be tested against older opposition this preparation.
“He’s certainly a lot stronger now and he galloped this morning and Ryan (Elliot) came in and rode him and he’s going really well,” co-trainer and part-owner Graeme Rogerson said.
“His exhibition gallop at Te Rapa the other day was terrific and I couldn’t be any happier with him.”
Sharp ‘N’ Smart’s versatility will stand him in good stead as far as track conditions go at Trentham, with the gelding a winner on top of the ground and on heavy going.
“I don’t know whether it will be wet or dry, I’d prefer it to be dry, but it doesn’t really matter and class will take him a long way. He’s right where I want him at the moment,” Rogerson said.
“He won the Gloaming Stakes (Gr.3, 1600m) on a heavy track and he won the Spring Champion Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m) on a heavy track.”
The gelding ended his spring in Melbourne when runner-up in the VRC Derby (Gr.1, 2500m).
Safely through Saturday, Sharp ‘N’ Smart will make his next appearance against the older horses before he heads offshore.
“We’re looking at running him in the Herbie Dyke Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m) and then the New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m),” Rogerson said.
“We’ll wait and see what happens on Saturday, but there is the option to go back down to Trentham for the Thorndon Mile (Gr.1, 1600m) or just wait for the Herbie Dyke.
“He’ll then go to Sydney for the ATC Derby (Gr.1, 2400m), that’s our plan at this stage with him and if he has two runs over there the other one will be in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m).”
Rogerson is also eagerly looking forward to the spring with Sharp ‘N’ Smart.
“Melbourne will be the aim and he’ll run in the Caulfield Cup (Gr.1, 2400m), maybe the Cox Plate (Gr.1, 2040m), and the Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 3200m),” he said.
“I think he is the ideal horse for the Cups, you can ride him anywhere and, like I say, he’s certainly a lot stronger.
“He’s unlimited and got all the ingredients to be potentially up there with the best three-year-olds I’ve had.”
Bred by Gerry Harvey, Sharp ‘N’ Smart was purchased out of Westbury Stud’s draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale draft by Rogerson for $55,000.
He was reoffered by Dormello Stud at the Ready to Run Sale where he failed to meet his $90,000 reserve and is raced by a syndicate that includes Rogerson and his good friend Harvey.
Sharp ‘N’ Smart will head a team of three at Trentham for Rogerson and wife Debbie with Hanalei Star to contest the Listed IRT Wellesley Stakes (1100m) and Roc Cha runs in the Woodridge Homes Premier (1200m).