Just As Sharp on trial for Hong Kong

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05 Apr 2024
Just As Sharp KWRI

By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

A future in Hong Kong could be on the cards for consistent three-year-old Just As Sharp if he performs up to expectations in the Gr.3 Higgins Concrete Manawatu Classic (2100m) at Trentham on Saturday.

The son of Swiss Ace has featured prominently in the key three-year-old contests this season, winning the Listed Trevor & Corallie Eagle Memorial 3YO (1500m) second-up at Te Rapa in December before placing in the $1.5 million Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) and Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m), and was fourth behind glamour filly Orchestral in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) last month.

“That filly (Orchestral) that beat him in the Derby, we followed her, and he got held up a bit. He wouldn’t have beaten her, but he ran a really respectable race in that Group One,” said Graeme Rogerson, who trains in partnership with his wife Debbie.

Just As Sharp has subsequently been freshened and is favoured to breakthrough for his first Group victory this weekend, with TAB bookmakers rating him a $2.30 favourite ahead of Moonlight Magic at $6.50 and Monday Melody at $9.

Rogerson is expecting him to live up to his odds and said he may continue his racing career in Hong Kong, with a number of parties interested in the gelding.

“He is going to be a good horse, he keeps improving,” he said. “There are a few offers from Hong Kong for him and I will just wait and see what happens on Saturday.

“I think he is an ideal Hong Kong horse because he can sprint and he can stay. He can win from 1200m to a mile-and-a-quarter.”

Meanwhile, the Hamilton stable will also head to Pukekohe on Saturday where they will line-up Solidify in the Stella Artois 1600 and All The Rage in the Hallmark Stud 1600, with both horses benefiting from stable apprentice jockey Bailey Rogerson’s two-kilogram claim.

“Solidify went well in the Derby, he just got caught out wide,” Rogerson said.
He had a good win at Otaki (in his previous run). I have put Bailey on him to claim two (kilograms) and I think he will run a really good race. If there is a shower of rain it will certainly help him.

“All The Rage is a chance in that race. He doesn’t like it too heavy, but 65 is his rating.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Photo by Kenton Wright (Race Images)