Dual-Island tests for Hamilton barn
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Graeme Rogerson and Dylan Ferguson are looking forward to lining up a pair of trotters in Canterbury this weekend but have more immediate targets closer to home tonight.
The Hamilton trainers will take a five-strong team to Cambridge Raceway on Thursday, led by last start winner Loutenant in the Dunstan Sweet Mix Mobile Pace (2200m) where he will be joined by stablemate Jaccka Cooper
“Loutenant has been racing well, so he is always going to be thereabouts,” Ferguson said.
“It is a decent step-up in grade for him, but he should be able to handle it and with a bit of luck he should be in the money.
“Jaccka Cooper would need to have improved a lot from his previous runs.”
They will also line-up Sunset Red in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Mobile Pace (2200m), Ya Know in the Dunstan Move Free Handicap Trot (2200m), and Unico Gem in the Dunstan Speedfeed Mobile Pace (1700m).
“Sunset Red hasn’t had much luck this prep, but in saying that she would need to have improved a bit for Thursday,” Ferguson said.
“She gets her chance in the right grade and from the right draw (2).
“You Know is fresh-up and we have had a few problems with her and it has just taken a bit to get her back up and going again.
“She has only had one quiet trial so I would say she will be in need of the run on Thursday.
“Unico Gem has been a bit plain in her last few starts and will have to improve a bit to feature in that field.”
While Ferguson is more hopeful than confident with his Cambridge brigade, he is more upbeat about his chances in Canterbury this weekend.
On Saturday Funny Face will line-up in the Cavalier Trotting Products Handicap Trot (2810m) at Motukarara Raceway, while a day late at Addington Raceway Shez Bella will contest the Group 1 Canterbury Spa & Pool Ace Of Hearts 2YO Fillies Mobile Trot (1980m).
Ferguson is happy with the way Funny Face has come through her last start 10th placed run in the Group 2 Trotting Mares Handicap Trot (2600m) and believes she is a big chance this weekend.
“She got run off her feet and didn’t have much luck last week, but the small field on Saturday should help her,” he said.
Shez Bella made a pleasing start to her career with two wins and a placing from her first three starts before disappointing when breaking last start at Alexandra Park.
She has been installed a $7.50 third favourite for Sunday and Ferguson is hoping she can bring her best manners.
“A bit of a hiccup last start probably knocked her confidence a little bit, but before then her form was good,” he said.
“She is a nice filly with a bit of bottom to her, she is not going to be out of place that is for sure.
“She is generally pretty safe and she has trained well and seems in a good frame of mind heading into Sunday.”