Rogerson already excited by spring prospects

Ryan Elliot salutes as Sharp ‘N’ Smart takes out the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2400m) with a stunning performance
Photo: Trish Dunell

A stellar season for Sharp ‘N’ Smart has drawn to a close with Graeme Rogerson confident his charge will return bigger and better to challenge for major Cups honours as a four-year-old.

The son of Redwood finished a gallant fourth in Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) with the combination of an outside gate and a heavily rain-affected track doing him no favours.

“Hugh (Bowman, jockey) said his run was enormous, his wheels were spinning and he just didn’t handle the ground,” said Rogerson, who prepares the gelding with wife Debbie.

“He got back a lot further than we wanted from the 17 alley, but his run was still super and on a dry track I think he would have been far too good for them.”

Successful in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and second in the Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m) last spring, Sharp ‘N’ Smart returned in the summer to finish runner-up in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m).

He then won the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) before returning to Sydney.

“He could be anything and we’ve decided to pull the pin on the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Group 1, 2000m) and he’ll have an eight-week spell,” Rogerson said.

“We’ll then get him ready for the spring and he’ll probably have one start in New Zealand and go to Melbourne, I think he’s a Caulfield Cup (Group 1, 2400m) and Melbourne Cup (Group 1, 3200m) horse.

“He’s something special and boy, next time in he’ll be some horse. He’s not quite mentally there just yet and his potential is unbelievable.”

The gelding was purchased by Rogerson at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale out of Westbury Stud’s draft for $55,000 and was subsequently passed in at the Ready to Run Sale.

He is raced by an ownership group that includes Rogerson and breeder Gerry Harvey and has won six of his 12 starts to take his stake earnings beyond $3 million.

While Sharp ‘N’ Smart will return to Australia later this year, Rogerson may be back sooner with another member of his Tuhikaramea stable.

Churchill filly In Her Presence is unbeaten this preparation to put the Brisbane winter carnival on the three-year-old’s radar.

“She has just wanted time and she’s only a one-paced horse, but she has a high cruising speed,” he said.

“She might be a nice stayer in the making and we’ll see where we head with her, but she could go to Queensland for the Oaks (Group 1, 2200m).”

In Her Presence was spelled after an unplaced debut in the summer and returned after a break to win first-up at Matamata last month.

She successfully stepped up to 1600m at Avondale on Saturday with another impressive frontrunning performance to account for her age group rivals.

Rogerson purchased In Her Presence for $100,000 at Karaka where she was offered by Windsor Park Stud, whose Marketing Manager Mike Moran co-bred the filly and remains in the ownership group.

She is out of the unraced O’Reilly mare Biscuit Biter and the family of the Group One winners Diademe, Embellish and Sacred Star.

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