Te Akau Racing co-trainer Sam Bergerson is still coming down from the high of winning his first Group One at Hastings on Saturday, but his attention has swiftly turned to a busy week of racing.
“It was pretty surreal. You don’t have many days like that and to have it so early on in my training career I am very fortunate,” said Bergerson, who trains in partnership with Mark Walker.
The Matamata operation will take seven runners to Taupo on Friday, headlined by last start Group One winner Romancing The Moon.
The four-year-old daughter of El Roca had a stellar three-year-old season, winning four of her 11 starts, including the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) and Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m). She was also runner-up on four occasions, including the Gr.3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m), Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m), Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m), and Listed The O’Learys Fillies Stakes 3YO (1200m).
She has had two trials to ready for Friday’s Hole In One Jolly’s 1100, where she will jump from barrier nine with 58.5kg on her back, courtesy of apprentice jockey Jessica Allen’s claim.
“It is difficult for the three-year-old fillies, especially coming into their four-year-old season. We thought Taupo is a good track to kick her off on,” Bergerson said.
“She gets in well in 75 grade with a claim. It looks like a nice race for her to get a line on where she is at.
“Her first trial at Te Rapa was pretty fair but she trialled a lot better at Taupo. I think it has just taken a bit of time to get the weight off her and get her fit.
“Her track work since her last trial has been spot on, so we are happy with her going into Friday.”
All going to plan, a trip to Hastings is on the cards next month to tackle the Gr.3 Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m).
“We will get through Friday and see how she measures up. There is a race on the last day at Hawke’s Bay, the Red Badge Sprint, that could be a really nice race for her if she ran well on Friday,” Bergerson said.
Romancing the Moon will be joined in her race at Taupo by stablemates Cognito, I Choose You, and Grace ‘N’ Grey.
“Cognito’s form tapered off toward the end of last season after being really impressive in the Wellington Guineas (Gr.2, 1400m),” Bergerson said.
“We have given him a couple of trials, which have been okay. We thought this would be another good race to get a line on him.
“We have had a bit of trouble with his back, so we are monitoring that. He seems well and his track work has been really good leading into Friday. It is a bit of a watch and see with him really.”
A future at Te Akau’s Cranbourne barn is beckoning I Choose You, with a decision set to be made following her run on Friday.
“The 1000m races could be ideal for her, so she could be one that ends up in Melbourne if she ran well enough,” Bergerson said.
“She needs those 1000-1200m races and there are plenty of options for her over there.
“If she settles, which is the big question, she should go a good race and find herself in Melbourne.”
Earlier on the card, promising three-year-old Superbly Written will be vying to break maiden ranks in the Remembering Julie Wilding (1300m) after placing when on debut over 1200m at Taupo last month.
“We have always like her since she has come to the stable. I thought it was a nice debut run and hopefully she will improve with it. She has had a look around Taupo now, which helps,” Bergerson said.
“I know it is a short step up in trip but we think it will suit and all going well she can continue to progress and we will try and get her to Christchurch hopefully."