Grove Street gets Ferrando off the mark

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06 Jul 2024

By Richard Edmunds, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

First-season sire Ferrando was credited with his first winner when Grove Street led all the way for an upset victory in Saturday’s Sign Central 2YO (1100m) at Hastings.

Saturday’s $35,000 two-year-old sprint was the third career start and first for more than seven months for Grove Street. His previous appearances produced fifth placings behind the impressive Te Akau Racing winners About Last Night and Maracatu.

Grove Street was sent out as a $27 outsider on Saturday and dominated the race from the front.

The Team Rogerson gelding jumped quickly from the extreme outside gate, and jockey Leah Hemi drove him forward and slid across to the rail.

First-starter Honey Badger loomed ominously on his outside at the home turn and was poised to run straight past him, but Grove Street lifted and found more and more down the Hastings straight. At the end of a head-bobbing battle through the final 50m, Grove Street clung on to win by a nose.

“I watched his previous races and saw that he could ping out of the gates, so I was quite confident that he would be able to get to the front within a few strides,” Hemi said.

“He’s very professional. The Rogerson team do a great job with their horses, and I was fortunate to get on this one today.”

It was a big result for Graeme Rogerson, who co-trains, bred and part-owns Grove Street.

Rogerson also trained and co-owned Ferrando during a 27-start career that produced eight wins, six placings and more than $270,000 in stakes. He won the Gr.3 Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) and Listed Lightning Handicap (1200m) and was a two-time placegetter in the Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m).

Grove Street now tops the list of Ferrando’s first-crop juveniles. The Fast ‘N’ Famous stallion is also the sire of Zorro’s Revenge, who is still a maiden but placed in the Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Pukekohe in May.

Ferrando himself was unraced as a two-year-old, and Rogerson said this week that he expects his progeny to continue to improve as they get older.

“Grove Street is learning all the time, and he’s a typical Ferrando – they’re not really two-year-old types,” he said. “They’re also looking more like stayers than sprinters, which I’ve found hard to believe.

“I think we’ve got a lot to look forward to with his progeny next season. We’ve got half a dozen of them that look really good. Zorro’s Revenge placed in the Champagne Stakes in the autumn, and he came back into the stable this week. We’re going to aim him at the 2000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m), and then I think he’s a lovely prospect for the Derby (Gr.1, 2400m).

“Skymax is another one, she got home really well for fourth at Ruakaka the other day. She’ll go out for a spell now and will come back better at three.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk.

Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)