Sharp ‘N’ Smart leading the way for Redwood

How may we help?

12 Sep 2023

By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

The champagne was flowing at Westbury Stud’s table at the New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Awards in Auckland on Sunday night following Sharp ‘N’ Smart being crowned IRT Champion Three-Year-Old of the Year and SENZ Horse of the Year.

A son of resident stallion Redwood, Sharp ‘N’ Smart was bred by farm principal Gerry Harvey and sold through Westbury Stud’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 2 Yearling Sale draft to Graeme Rogerson for $55,000.

Westbury Stud General Manager Russell Warwick said Sharp ‘N’ Smart has always had a strong presence about him.

“He was always quite an imposing horse. He was out of a mare that really didn’t show any ability. He was the first foal and had a bit of presence about him,” Warwick said.

“He always had a lot of confidence in himself and portrayed that in everything you did with him – he was cheeky and had that little bit of attitude about him.

“We had a $55,000 reserve on him at Karaka and Graeme had the last bid at $55,000, otherwise he would have been coming home.

“He asked us if we wanted to stay in, which we did, and from that point he said ‘we would ready-to-run him and if we make a good profit on him we will sell him, if not, we will hang onto him’.”

Sharp ‘N’ Smart was passed in at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run sale later that year and in hindsight his connections are happy about the outcome.

“He had a $100,000 reserve on him at the ready to run sale. He went through the ring and passed in at $90,000,” Warwick said.

“If someone had actually put their hand up at $100,000 the whole ballgame of Sharp ‘N’ Smart could have been quite different.”

He has gone on to win six and place in four of his 14 starts and earned more than $3.1 million in prizemoney.

Five of those victories came last season as a three-year-old, where he won the Gr.3 Gloaming Stakes (1600m), Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m), and Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).

He was also runner-up in the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) and Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2400m).

“It was great to see him rewarded with the accolade (of Horse of the Year), particularly in a year where the competition was so high,” Warwick said.

“The group of three-year-olds that we had in New Zealand this year was very strong, but to go and beat them at Group One level over in Australia and then run second in a VRC Derby and fourth in an ATC Derby (Gr.1, 2400m), he got all the accolades he deserved.”

Sharp ‘N’ Smart has been a great product of Westbury Stud and Redwood, and Warwick is looking forward to the future with the gelding.

“He has been a superb headline horse in a number of ways, not only with his racing prowess, but also from Redwood’s position,” he said.

“He is only a four-year-old, so all things going well, he has still got a good two or three racing seasons ahead at the highest level.”

Unfortunately, his dam Queen Margaret died following a paddock accident, but the Westbury team have retained her only other foal, a three-year-old unnamed Redwood filly.

“She is a big filly and has just needed time,” Warwick said.

“She is pre-training at the moment and has got a value regardless of whether she races. We have put no pressure on her just because of her size, but we can get a little more serious with her going forward.

“She will be retained and race in Gerry’s colours.

“Unfortunately, Queen Margaret broke her leg in a paddock accident. She was ill-fated but her son is carrying a lot of pride for her at the moment.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk