Graeme Rogerson has lavished praise on the Te Awamutu track and thrown his support behind the rejuvenation of the Waikato venue.
The Tuhikaramea horseman, who trains with wife Debbie, was well-represented at a set of jump-outs there on Thursday morning with his Australian-bound Group One contender Sharp ‘N’ Smart among those to stretch their legs.
“They have done a wonderful job and there were 48 horses there. They are going to have jump-outs again in two weeks’ time and hopefully they will be trialling on it soon,” Rogerson said.
“I took two truckloads there with Ryan (Elliot) and Bailey (Rogerson) and I will be going to take another 20 there in a fortnight.
“The track is excellent and gives us plenty to look forward to. There will be trials there again before Christmas that’s for sure.
“I was very impressed with the course proper and we haven’t got a good grass trial track up here in the north, it’s a really good surface.”
Meanwhile, Rogerson has major off-shore plans for Sharp ‘N’ Smart, who did everything asked of him at Te Awamutu ahead of his sole domestic appearance as a three-year-old.
“He worked enormously well in his 1000m jump-out on the course proper and (granddaughter) Bailey rode him. He won really well,” he said.
Sharp ‘N’ Smart was successful in last season’s Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie, following an unlucky debut second at Ruakaka, before a two-start Queensland winter carnival campaign.
The son of Redwood finished a close second in the Listed The Phoenix (1500m) and returned to Eagle Farm to finish fourth and less than a length off the winner in the Gr.1 JJ Atkins (1600m).
Sharp ‘N’ Smart was then spelled and placed in trials at Te Rapa and Taupo before his Te Awamutu outing ahead of resuming on Saturday week.
“I looked at a 1200m race at Hawke’s Bay, but he will more than likely run at Whangarei in a three-year-old race over 1400m with Bailey to ride him,” Rogerson said.
“He is coming up really well and we will make our minds up after Whangarei whether he goes to Sydney or Melbourne.”
The Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), the Caulfield Guineas (1600m), the VRC Derby (2500m) and the Cox Plate (2040m) are all Group One options on the table.
“He is right where I want him to be at this stage, I couldn’t be happier with him,” Rogerson said.
“I’ve put a set of blinkers on him just to make him concentrate, he’s still a big baby.”