Graeme Rogerson thinks a lot of three-year-old gelding More Wonder, so much so that he is thinking of setting him the ultimate challenge, a clash with Winx in the autumn.
The son of Mossman has shown a lot of promise at elite level this season and Rogerson, who trains the gelding in partnership with wife Debbie and granddaughter Bailey, believes he is talented enough to break through at that level this term.
More Wonder continued his preparation at the Cambridge trials on Tuesday, where he won his 1200m heat effortlessly by four lengths.
“I just wanted to give him a day out. I am really happy with the horse. I didn’t run him at Te Rapa, because he had two runs down at Wellington,” Rogerson said.
Those two runs included the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) and Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m), where he finished fourth and fifth respectively.
His next two assignments will be at Group One level in the Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600) at Otaki next Saturday followed by a tilt at the Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 2.
Rogerson said a Sydney autumn campaign would then be likely for his charge if everything goes to plan.
“He’s a lovely, quiet horse,” Rogerson said. “He’s running in the Otaki Group One and he’s in the Derby.
“I nominated him for Sydney on Tuesday morning. He’s in the (Australian) Derby (Gr.1, 2400m) and I might run him against Winx in the Queen Elizabeth (Gr.1, 2000m).
“I think he is a really good horse, so we’ll see how good of a judge I am. He’s a Group One horse, he probably should have won a Group One by now.”
Another Team Rogerson-trained three-year-old who is on a New Zealand Derby path is Masetto.
The Cape Blanco gelding will have one final hit-out in the Gr.2 Schweppes Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Ellerslie on Saturday and Rogerson thinks his charge will be competitive in the race.
“He’s going towards the Derby,” he said. “He’s just learning and I think he is a good horse. I think he is well up to them, he has been set for that race.” – NZ Racing Desk