The training triumvirate of Graeme, Debbie and Bailey Rogerson kicked the new racing season off in style at Te Rapa on Saturday when they dominated the early proceedings at the meeting.
The trio provided the quinella in the third race on the programme when accomplished mare Malambo proved too speedy for stablemate Comeback as she led all the way in the open 1200m sprint feature. That was just thirty minutes after promising filly Roc Cha headed home a quartet of Rogerson runners in the three-year-old 1100m contest, albeit they did provide six of the seven starters in the race.
Competently handled by four-kilogram claiming apprentice Shiarna Johnson, Malambo relished the Slow9 footing as she produced an eye-catching dress rehearsal for her first major assignment of the season, the Group 2 US Navy Flag Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at the venue in a fortnight.
The Duelled five-year-old had been freshened after finishing a gutsy third at Trentham back in late May and after pinging away from an inside barrier she gave nothing else a look in as she controlled proceedings from in front throughout. “With the four kilos off I said to bounce out, be positive and try and lead hard on the fence and she pulled it off,” Debbie Rogerson said. “She’s a very handy mare who I think is a lot better this time up. “Hopefully she can win a Listed race this time in or be Group placed for her breeding prospects down the line.”
Rogerson confirmed a tilt at the Foxbridge Plate was the mare’s next target provided she came through today’s exertions in good shape. “If she comes through this race, we’ve got nothing to lose,” she said. “She races good at Te Rapa and if she happened to run in the first four (in the Foxbridge) then I’d be ecstatic. “He (Comeback) also went really well and you will probably see him in the Foxbridge as well.”
Bred by Graeme Rogerson, Malambo’s career record now stands at seven wins from 32 starts, with four of those victories coming at the Te Rapa track.