Delson has tested Ferguson’s patience
By Garrick Knight
It’s often said that a horse trainer never stops learning.
For Dylan Ferguson, that has definitely rung true in recent months with promising trotter Delson, an impressive winner at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
“I’ve learnt more about horses in the time he’s been here than I have in my whole bloody life,” he told HRNZ.
“It’s been five months of trying to sort him out.”
The problems haven’t been limited to one thing, either.
“The biggest problem is in behind he hangs in, and when in front he runs out.
“So, I’ve got a big pole on the inside; I plan for the worst and hope for the best.
“I’d love to be able to reach over and take that pole off when he gets to the front.”
Friday night’s front-running win was dominant, and Ferguson hopes it is a sign that he is getting on top of the son of Majestic Son.
“He did it easily despite hanging out really badly.
“Once I got clear of the field, I let him have his head and he put them away nicely.
“It was pretty easy in the finish.”
Ferguson, who does the leg-work for official trainer Graeme Rogerson, says it’s those flashes of brilliance that make it easy to persist.
“He’s just a funny horse – still very green and very immature, both mentally and physically.
“He’s certainly got a big motor though, and that makes it worthwhile putting the hard yards in to him trying to get him right.
“In my opinion he could probably do with another 50 kilos on him and when I rung (former trainer) Nathan Williamson recently he said he’d thought that for the horse’s whole life.
“He’s just big and lanky and not a great doer.”
Delson is one of a dozen horses Ferguson works for Rogerson, including five pricey yearlings from the Karaka sale early this year.
“They’re all just coming to the end of their second preparation now.
“It’s a bit too early to tell, but they’ve down nothing wrong.
“We’ve actually been stuffed up by a bad virus recently.
“The yearlings all got it, and Delson got it the worst, but he’s also come out of it the quickest.
“I think it’s still lingering in a few of them as well.
“So that us on our bums a little bit and all you can do it wait for them to get over it and work back up again.”
As busy as he has been doing the team at Rogerson’s, things are about to get a whole lot more daunting for Ferguson and his partner, Jo Stevens.
They’re expecting their first child any day now, and trying to juggle two training teams – Stevens’ and Rogerson’s – has proved difficult.
“It’s going to be a challenge but we’re really looking forward to it.
“We’d been cruising the last eight months, but the last few weeks we’ve really had to knuckle down and get organized.
“Mum (Wendy) and Dad (Peter) have been holding down the fort at home, working Jo’s team, while I’ve been at Rogey’s with his team and one of our own.”
Stevens actually had a runner in on Friday night too – Black Art – and it ran third.
“I think Dad can take most of the credit for that one; he calls himself the master farrier so we’ll chalk that one up to him.”