Rogerson 3YO arrives ahead of Gloaming

Talented staying three-year-old Sharp ‘N’ Smart (NZ) (Redwood) touched down in Sydney on Sunday as he prepares for a two-start campaign in the Harbour City.

The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson-trained gelding will step out in Saturday’s Gr.3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Randwick where Ben Melham is booked to ride.

A son of Redwood, Sharp ‘N’ Smart won over 1400m at Ruakaka in early September and enjoyed a hit-out at the Waipa trials last week to fine-tune him for Saturday’s assignment.

“He flew over this morning (Sunday) and looks fantastic,” Graeme Rogerson said from Randwick.

“Hugh Bowman is suspended, and Ben Melham is going up to Sydney to ride a lot of the horses Hugh would have been engaged on.”

Sharp ‘N’ Smart’s form received a solid boost when the Mark Walker-trained Cognito ran out a strong winner of the Inglewood Stud Guineas Trial (1400m) at Riccarton on Saturday. The Te Akau runner’s only defeat came when beaten a nose by Sharp ‘N’ Smart at Ruakaka.

“Our bloke only did what he had to at Whangarei,” Rogerson said.

“I see Mark Walker said in the press that his horse could have beaten him, but I don’t think he would have. When Bailey (Rogerson, jockey) asked him to go again, he just went a bit more.

“He is going well but he will be a really top horse in the autumn.”

Rogerson is hopeful the big wet in Sydney will subside this week, with Sharp ‘N’ Smart unexposed on rain-affected conditions, with all five of his raceday starts on tracks rated Good.

“He will be very competitive this weekend,” Rogerson said. “I am not sure what the weather and track will be like, but a lot of the Redwoods seem to handle a bit of cut in the track. He has never been on a really wet track

“I thought Randwick raced very well yesterday for what it was (Heavy) and it looked good today. What will be will be.

“With the travel we won’t need to do a lot with him this week but he was settled and eating when I left him an hour ago, which is a good sign.”

Despite holding a nomination for the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m), a race Rogerson won with Savabeel as a three-year-old, Sharp ‘N’ Smart is more likely to contest the A$2 million Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on the same day.

“I am fairly certain he will run in the Spring Champion Stakes after that. He is very unlikely to run in the Cox Plate, but he may run in the VRC Derby (Gr.1, 2500m) and then I will put him away until the autumn,” he said.

“He doesn’t knock himself around, that’s for sure. I’d say he will stay the (Derby) trip alright as he doesn’t overly exert himself. I have put blinkers on him just to make him focus a little bit.”

A stakes winner at two, Sharp ‘N’ Smart won the Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Pukekohe where among the vanquished was the Andrew Forsman-trained VRC Derby favourite Mr Maestro (NZ) (Savabeel), who finished four and a half lengths away in third.

“I think he is a good horse Mr Maestro. The Kiwi three-year-olds are more than up to it and it was nice to see him win so well at Flemington on Saturday (in the Listed Super Impose Stakes, 1800m). “There is a lot of money around over here. It’s unbelievable and let’s just hope we can get some of it.”

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