Graeme Rogerson is confident of a bold showing from Solidify at Eagle Farm on Saturday and he’s also looking forward to the longer-term benefits from the Queensland venture.
The Tuhikaramea conditioner co-trains the son of Redwood with wife Debbie and also shares in the ownership group of the Gr.1 JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) contender.
Solidify won two of his three New Zealand starts, including the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa before he departed for Brisbane.
The two-year-old was unplaced in the Gr.2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) after a buffeting in the straight and Rogerson believes a change of luck can see the colt give his Australian counterparts a run for their money in the hands of Ryan Elliot.
“I can’t believe he has drifted in the market ($18). I thought his first run was enormous,” he said.
“He had no luck and got flattened, but he picked himself up again to get to the line. Ryan thought he was going really well turning for home and said if he got the run he would have been right in it.
“He’s been eating everything since and galloped well on Tuesday morning. He’s doing a treat.
“This trip will make the horse and it will be interesting on Saturday, I think he is something really special.”
Rogerson is following a similar path with Solidify that he trod last season with Sharp ‘N’ Smart, also by Redwood, who finished fourth in the JJ Atkins on his way to future multiple Group One victories.
“The trip to Queensland made Sharp “N” Smart and he looks outstanding,” he said.
“He’s won $3 million and the only thing that stopped him having a better record was the wet tracks.”
Sharp ‘N’ Smart will have one outing at home during the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival before he returns to Australia.
“I’ll run him in a trial and probably one day at Hastings before he goes,” Rogerson said.
“I’ve nominated him for the Caulfield Cup (Gr.1, 2400m), the Cox Plate (Gr.1, 2040m) and the Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 3200m).
“I’m waiting to see what weight he gets and that will be interesting. At this stage, my thinking is the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and he’ll do New Zealand proud.”
Rogerson is also thrilled with the progress being made by Mascarpone, who hasn’t raced for 16 months.
The Shooting To Win gelding won the Gr.1 Otaki Maori WFA Classic (1600m), but subsequently suffered a suspensory injury during an exhibition gallop at Ellerslie.
“He’s been back in work for six or seven weeks and he looks fantastic,” Rogerson said.
“He’s on the treadmill and swimming and he’s a day-to-day proposition for sure, but he has been all his life.
“I ran him right-handed at Ellerslie and that’s when he did the damage.”
The winner of eight of his 26 starts, Mascarpone was successful in the 2021 Gr.2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) and Rogerson sees the Te Rapa feature as an ideal starting point for the chestnut’s spring campaign.
“All going well, he’ll run in the Foxbridge and then maybe the Tarzino Trophy (Gr.1, 1400m) and the Arrowfield Stud Plate (Gr.1, 1600m),” he said.