Graeme Rogerson is excited to find out whether raw ability can snare Group 1 honours for exciting three-year-old Mascarpone in Saturday’s Woodridge Homes Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham. The Shooting To Win gelding is far from the finished product but he has earned his shot at elite-level spoils after a treble of wins.
The most recent of those was at Awapuni last month when he reared and missed the start by three lengths but was still able to circle the field and sweep past his rivals to score by 1- 1/4 lengths. The second horse was Callsign Mav, runner-up to Catalyst in October’s Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings and a rival again on Saturday. “He’s still learning but he’s certainly got that raw ability,” said Rogerson, who trains in partnership with his wife Debbie and granddaughter Bailey. “He’s a very good horse in the making. It’s only a small field but it’s a very good field with the likes of Harlech, Travelling Light and Riodini. They look really good horses but I think he’s up to them.”
TAB bookmakers have Mascarpone as an $8 fourth favourite for the Levin Classic behind $2.50 favourite Harlech, with Travelling Light at $2.80 and Riodini at $4. A winner of three of his seven starts, Mascarpone has drawn barrier five in a field of seven at Trentham with regular rider Ryan Elliot again aboard as Team Rogerson seek to improve on More Wonder’s luckless fourth in last year’s race. “He’s got more raw ability than More Wonder and More Wonder probably should have won last year,” Rogerson said, revealing a start in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on January 25 was Mascarpone’s likely next step. “Provided he does everything right, he’ll go there. He’s still got a bit to learn but boy he can run a quick sectional. I just hope he does everything right for Ryan on Saturday.”
Team Rogerson will produce More Wonder in the Wellington Seamarket Premier 1400 at Trentham, the Mossman gelding to carry 61.5kg in the Rating 82 event. “We tried to make him stay after the Levin Classic last year but he’s really a sprinter-miler. He’ll run well,” said Rogerson, who was unsure whether first-starter Tavirock would round out the stable representation at Trentham in the William The Protector Premier 1200m. “He’s 50-50 whether I run him. He’s a nice horse in the making and we’ve got some really nice two-year-olds around us.”
Rogerson said De La Terre was likely to be the stable’s sole runner in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 25, while emerging star Beauden has been slated for the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on February 8. “We’ve given Beauden an easy week and we’ll look at running him at Te Rapa,” Rogerson said of the Joan Egan-bred and raced Bullbars gelding, a winner of the Listed Marton Cup (2200m) at his last start after a luckless third in the Group 1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
“He’s gone to another level. He was unlucky not to win the Zabeel Classic but that’s racing. He’s just getting better and better and Joan just loves him. “We’re meeting with Joan next week and she’ll make the final decision but we’re looking at the Herbie Dyke and then the Bonecrusher (Group 1, 2000m), though he is still in the Auckland Cup (Group 1, 3200m).”