Sharp ‘N’ Smart building towards return

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21 Dec 2022

Sharp ‘N’ Smart will mark the start of the new year by making his first public appearance since finishing runner-up in the Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m).

The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson-trained gelding will have an exhibition gallop between races at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day as he builds towards another Australian campaign.

“He is great at the moment,” Debbie Rogerson told RadioTAB on Tuesday. “He came home, had a break in his paddock and came back into his box at night.

“We’re looking to give him an exhibition gallop on New Year’s Day at Te Rapa over 1000m and then we’re going to work out what direction we go with the horse.”

Rogerson said the Group One winning son of Redwood would have at least two starts in New Zealand before the focus turns to Sydney with the Gr.2 Life Direct Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham the most likely kick-off point.

“He is proven at a mile and 2000m and was a bit unlucky that he didn’t quite see that other horse (Manzoice) coming in the Derby, so I think he is pretty versatile,” Rogerson said.

“He has really started to strengthen up and hopefully in the autumn it is his turn and we can go back to Melbourne in the spring with him. It is exciting to have such a good horse.”

The smart three-year-old is likely to take on older horses in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on February 11 and also holds a nomination for the $1 million Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at the same venue on March 4.

Sharp ‘N’ Smart was a gutsy winner of the Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in Sydney a week prior to backing up in the VRC Derby.

The Tuhikaramea-trained galloper is likely to be targeted at Sydney through the autumn with the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) and Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on the agenda.