Ferguson on the hunt for premiership
By Josh Smith - Harness News Desk
Dylan Ferguson is in his last season as a junior driver and he is hoping to finish it off with a bang.
With 27 wins for the season-to-date Ferguson is 18 wins clear of his nearest rival in the North Island, however, he is trailing John Morrison (30 wins), Sheree Tomlinson (29 wins), and Ben Hope (28 wins) in the New Zealand Junior Driver Premiership.
While Ferguson admits he is facing an uphill struggle to try and claim the premiership he said he is hoping to close the gap with six drives at Cambridge Raceway on Wednesday night.
“If I can have a good night on Wednesday that might help me turn things around a little bit,” he said. “But it’s probably starting to look like an outside chance now.”
Four of his drives at Cambridge will be in his employer Graeme Rogerson’s silks and he said the stable has a number of chances, led by Miss Slippers in the WRU $50 Ticket Package & Chance To Win Trot (2700m).
The daughter of Pegasus Spur has finished runner-up in her two runs at Alexandra Park this preparation and Ferguson is confident that she can finally breakthrough for her maiden victory.
“She has been running up to expectations,” Ferguson said. “Her work has been really good and we have been really happy with how she has come back from a long spell.
“She has got good manners, good form, and tries hard. I expect her to be pretty hard to beat.”
While confident in Miss Slippers’ chances on Wednesday, Ferguson said he is just crossing his fingers that Delson brings the right attitude to Cambridge where he will contest the Checkout Bruntwood Equestrian For Horse Agistment Handicap Trot (2700m).
“He has got plenty of tricks up his sleeve,” Ferguson quipped. “If he trots the whole way he should beat them.
“Hopefully we have ironed a few things out with him, but you can’t follow him with too much confidence.”
Delson will start from behind the 40m tapes, however, that poses no concern for his driver.
“I’m not worried about the 40m, I’m more worried about getting him around in one piece,” Ferguson said. “If he trots the whole way I expect him to be pretty competitive.”
Rogerson will also line-up Romanee in the Limited Tickets Left To July 23 Mid-Winter Xmas Mobile Pace (2200m) and Sunset Red in the Ice Skating Rink coming to Cambridge Raceway July 12 Mobile Pace (2200m).
“Romanee trialled well at Cambridge on Saturday and he has got a good draw (1), so he should be right in the fight,” Ferguson said.
“Sunset Red has got a bad draw (7), so she is going to need a bit of luck. She is just a bit of a one trick pony. She is better driven with a sit, so we are in the lap of the gods a little bit from barrier seven, but if they go hard up front then she can get home better than most of them.”
Ferguson will also do the steering behind Griffin’s Hall in the Speeding Spur At Woodlands Stud Trot (2700m) and Hezashadowplaya in the Farmlands Mobile Pace (2200m).
“Griffin’s Hall has been a bit in and out with his manners,” Ferguson said. “He has got a bit of ability, so if he trots the whole way and brings his best form he is not the worst chance.
“We just want him to get around in one piece and do everything right.
“Hezashadowplaya got beaten by a smart horse first start back, so I would expect him to race pretty handy to the speed and he should be pretty hard to beat.”