IN Racing
Rogerson has an eye to the future with stable stars
Outstanding three-year-old Sharp ‘N’ Smart returned to the Tuhikaramea stables of Graeme and Debbie Rogerson on Friday as he prepares for a lucrative four-year-old season.
NZ Racing Desk | May 19, 2023
Photo: Supplied

Outstanding three-year-old Sharp ‘N’ Smart returned to the Tuhikaramea stables of Graeme and Debbie Rogerson on Friday as he prepares for a lucrative four-year-old season.

The son of Redwood is a three-time Group One winner with the best part of $3 million in prizemoney and returns after a spell following his fourth placing in the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) which was contested on a heavy track.

“He looks a real horse. He has developed into a fine specimen,” Graeme Rogerson said. “He had five or six or weeks in the paddock.

“He will have a lead-up race in New Zealand in the spring – possibly one of the Group Ones at Hawke’s Bay over 1400m or a mile, and then he will have a couple of runs in the weight-for-age races in Melbourne and then onto the Caulfield Cup (Gr.1, 2400m) and Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 3200m). That is the plan.

“If he gets a dry track, I think he is up there with the very best.”

Rogerson is hoping Sharp ‘N’ Smart will have a travel-companion when he ventures to Melbourne in the spring, with year-younger stablemate Solidify displaying similar raw ability.

Like Sharp ‘N’ Smart, who raced well in two starts in Queensland at the backend of his two-year-old season, Solidify will put his credentials on the line in a two-start campaign in the Sunshine State in the coming weeks.

Also a son of Redwood, Solidify strung together successive victories at Te Rapa over 1200m, including a last start triumph in the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes.

“He leaves for Queensland this weekend,” Rogerson said. “At this stage he will run in the Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr.2, 1400m) next Saturday. It’s worth A$1 million.

“Then he runs on June 10 in the JJ Atkins (Gr.1, 1600m). Ryan (Elliot) will ride him over there.”

Despite his ability, Solidify is not yet the complete article and was slow to begin last start and over-raced through much of the early stages.

“That is why we have put a crossover (noseband) on him. He thinks he can go when he wants to.

“He is a good horse and has the makings of something special.”

While Sharp ‘N’ Smart and Solidify will give the Rogersons plenty of reason to look forward to spring, there are also a number of younger members of the squad that provide cause for optimism.

“We have had a massive year. We have broken in 40 rising two-year-olds already and there are some lovely horses there by the likes of Savabeel, Russian Revolution and Better Than Ready, and we have a Headwater that will show up in the early two-year-old races,” Rogerson said.

“We have also got 28 in work by Ferrando, which we really like.

“They will be precocious. He was one of the fastest horses in New Zealand. He was only 0.4 seconds outside the New Zealand record for 1200m. He was a really fast horse.”

Team Rogerson prepared Ferrando to win at Group Three level, while he was multiple Group One placed, with eight wins and six placings from 27 starts.

The son of Fast ‘N’ Famous has joined the Westbury Stud roster this year and Rogerson is keen to support the stallion. One of racing’s great innovators, Rogerson has put together a racing and trading club to ensure Ferrando’s progeny get their opportunity.

“We have put a Ferrando Club together, with 50 people that lease the horses. There are six colts and six fillies,” Rogerson said.

“The Club runs for the 12 months of the season and if any horses are sold, they get half the money. They pay a one-off fee of $10,000 and that covers everything. There are no more costs and all of the stakes money won goes back to the club.

“We have either got to sell them to get $500,000 back or win $500,000. I think they will be ready made two-year-olds and I think it’s a good concept.”

Caulfield Cup Fast ‘N’ Famous Ferrando Gr.1 Australian Derby Graeme and Debbie Rogerson Melbourne Melbourne Cup Redwood Sharp ‘N’ Smart Solidify Tuhikaramea stables Te Rapa