The search is on for a new Team Rogerson stable star after the retirement of Ferrando, who will shortly begin a stud career.
"We've got some nice horses coming through, a good team of young horses," Graeme Rogerson said.
"But Ferrando's not going to be an easy horse to replace. He was one of the fastest horses New Zealand has had. I trained Savabeel and Not A Single Doubt and they went on to be pretty good stallions and I think he's a chance of doing the same."
Rogerson has formed a stallion syndicate for Ferrando, who will commence stud duties from Rogerson's son Gary's farm at Ngahinapouri for $2500 plus GST.
Fast 'N' Famous six-year-old Ferrando won the Gr.3 Mongolian Khan Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie at three, one of eight wins from 27 starts.
But he will be most remembered for two narrow defeats in the Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham, both at the hands of Enzo's Lad. On the second occasion, the judge took seven minutes before declaring the result, so close was the winning margin.
In between, he defeated Group One winner Heroic Valour, now standing at Raheen Stud in Queensland, in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1200m) at Trentham.
"We've just got him back at the stables today and they are taking pictures of him now. He's outstanding," Rogerson said.
"He's got the best nature. He's a real gentleman, a beautiful horse. His record should be a lot better than it is. He was a really fast horse but he needed fast ground. We took him to Australia and it rained but he still ran fifth (in the Gr.3 McKay Stakes over 1100m at Morphettville).
"I was going to send him overseas to stud but the way the pandemic worked out and everything, we're standing him ourselves. He's got a lot of bookings. I'm going to send about 25 or 30 mares to him. I’m going to really get behind him."
Rogerson, who trains in partnership with his wife Debbie, was pleased with the way the stable's team was shaping for the new season.
"We're really happy with our rising two-year-olds in particular. We've broken in 40 and we've probably got about 12 for the early two-year-old races," he said.
More imminently though, the stable is preparing for a busy day at Te Rapa on Saturday with 20 horses accepted, though several are on the ballot and need scratchings to gain a start.
"We've got some nice chances and I'm pleased to see the track is drying out," said Rogerson, who short-listed Malambo, Roc Cha and siblings Aalaalune and De La Terre as the best chances.
"Aalaalune would be our best of the day. She trialled enormously. She's come back a different horse," Rogerson said of the Group One-placed Reliable Man three-year-old filly.
"Da La Terre is going really well and Roc Cha will run really well with the four kilo claim (of Rogerson's granddaughter, apprentice jockey Bailey Rogerson)
"Malambo is going really well too. She's in the July sale on the Gold Coast and Sweet Treat is in there too but we're just waiting to see what happens with that. Sweet Treat has got her share of weight again but 2000m will suit her."
Rogerson was looking forward to the progress of some of the stable's jumping talent with Waikato Hurdles aspirant Gallante and Waikato Steeples candidate Raisafuarso among six stable acceptors for the BGP Battlers Cup (2000m). - NZ Racing Desk
Photo of Ferrando above and Aalaalune below - both by Trish Dunell Photography