Team Rogerson will saddle three runners at Riccarton on Wednesday, including Group 1-placed sprinter Ferrando and a pair of talented three-year-olds.
Ferrando will carry top-weight in the Group 3 Lindauer Stewards’ Stakes Handicap (1200m) and co- trainer Graeme Rogerson is pleased to see the Riccarton track firming under sunny skies.
“He is a dry track horse,” Rogerson said. “The harder the track, the better it suits him.”
Ferrando resumed from a break with a strong win at Otaki after not getting conditions to suit in a two-start South Australian campaign earlier in the year.
“It rained over there,” Rogerson said. “It hadn’t rained for months and it rained both times before he ran.
“It was just bad luck.
“He is not well weighted in the Stewards, he’s got 60kg and has been given a Group 1 winner’s weight so I hope the handicapper is a good judge.”
Rogerson’s granddaughter Bailey who, alongside his wife Debbie, trains in partnership with him has been overseeing the team at Riccarton. “Bailey’s really happy with him,” Rogerson said.
“He has drawn the right alley (barrier 1) and he has developed into a beautiful horse.
“He is strong enough to carry the weight, he carried 60.5kg last start, but when you’re giving horses that can run a bit a fair bit of weight, it is not easy.
All bar four of Ferrando’s opponents will carry the 53kg minimum on Wednesday.
Rogerson said races like the Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m) on New Year’s Day at Ellerslie and the Group 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham later in January were on the agenda for Ferrando before another possible trip to Australia.
Meanwhile, smart three-year-old More Wonder will be on the quick back-up when he contests the NZB Ready To Run Sale Premier (1400m) on Wednesday after running an eye-catching race in last Saturday’s Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).
The gelding missed the start by four lengths and closed to within three lengths of impressive winner Madison County on the line to finish fifth.
“He’s just had no luck his last three starts,” Rogerson said.
“He just couldn’t get out and for some reason he turned his head around in the barrier. His run in the 2000 Guineas was enormous.
“There is a bit of interest from Hong Kong for him so we will run him on Wednesday and Johnathan Parkes will ride. He just needs an ounce of luck.”
The Rogerson stable will also be represented by talented filly Beam Of Light in the same race as she looks to press her claims for a berth in Saturday’s Group 1 Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).
“She did a few little things wrong last start and we have put a tongue tie on and side winkers on her tomorrow,” he said.
“I think she will make a race of it and we will back her up in the 1000 Guineas. That is our plan anyway.”