Team Rogerson look to have a strong hand in next week’s Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings with a potential trio of runners in the first Group 1 race of the season.
This past weekend’s Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) placegetter Comeback is assured of a start in the race, while trainers Graeme, Debbie and Bailey Rogerson will wait until Monday before deciding whether Aalaalune and More Wonder will contest the first leg of the Hawke’s Bay triple crown. “Comeback will definitely go to the Tarzino,” Debbie Rogerson said. “He is hard fit and went a fantastic race on Saturday.”
More Wonder didn’t hurt his chances of starting next Saturday with his 1100m trial win at Taupo on Tuesday. The four-year-old son of Mossman finished fourth in two Group 1 races last season and Rogerson is pleased with how he has returned after a lengthy spell. “I was really impressed with the horse,” she said. “He is a lot more forward than I thought. I was very happy with the barrier trial today.” “He just had a couple of little issues towards the end of last prep. We have sorted that all out and he has had a good spell. “He has had a good long build up and the proof was in the pudding at the trials.”
While he contested right up to the 2400m distance of the Group 1 New Zealand Derby last season, Rogerson believes he is better suited to shorter distances. “I think he is just a sprinter-miler, 1400m to a mile,” she said. “He is probably a lot better right-handed than left-handed. “We won’t make a decision (on the Tarzino Trophy) until Monday.”
Rogerson said recent stable addition Aalaalune has settled in well to her new environment at Team Rogerson’s Hamilton barn and a Tarzino Trophy tilt remains on the cards for the Group 1 performer. “She has fitted in really well and we will have a good discussion with the owner (Lou Te Keeti) on Monday and we won’t make up our mind until then,” she said. “It is all up to the owner, he owns the horse 100 percent, so it’s his call whatever direction he wants to go.”
Meanwhile, dual Group winner Contessa Vanessa will likely bypass the Tarzino Trophy in favour of the ITM Thermakraft Open (1300m) at New Plymouth on Saturday.