Gr.1 Woodridge Homes Levin Classic (1600m) contender Mascarpone. Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)
Graeme Rogerson is excited to find out whether raw ability can snare
Group One honours for exciting three-year-old Mascarpone (NZ) (Shooting
To Win) 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 (NZ) (Atlante), runner-up to Catalyst
(NZ) (Darci Brahma) in October’s Gr.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
“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 (NZ) (Darci Brahma), with Travelling
Light (NZ) (El Roca) at $2.80 and Riodini (NZ) (Proisir) 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 (NZ) (Mossman) 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
“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 (NZ) (Tavistock) 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 (NZ) (Reliable Man) was likely to be the
stable’s sole runner in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie on January
25, while emerging star Beauden (NZ) (Bullbars) has been slated for the Gr.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 Gr.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 (Gr.1, 2000m), though he is still in the Auckland Cup (Gr.1, 3200m).”