Lovemeto set to be part of trans Tasman dual code raid
By Michael Guerin
Training legend Graeme Rogerson may be planning a dual-code raid on Australian Group 1 riches this spring but don’t expect his top harness horses to become best mates with galloping star Sharp N Smart.
While dual-code trainers are nothing new in New Zealand and have become even more common in recent years Rogerson has taken that to a whole new level.
Not only is he a 12-time NZ thoroughbred premiership winning trainer but went close to winning the harness premiership once and, now training with Dylan Ferguson, has his most select harness team in years.
That includes Harness Million and Northern Trotting Derby winner Lovemeto and Rogerson says he could be campaigning in Victoria at the same time Sharp N Smart is chasing mega rich targets like the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
“I have three or four (harness horses) we might take,” says Rogerson.
But while it will be Rogerson’s responsibility to hone Sharp N Smart for his targets, Ferguson presumes he will be heading across with Lovemeto and the pacers.
“I don’t think we are going to see Graeme jogging Lovemeto down the course proper at Flemington with Sharp N Smart on the lead, although I’d love to see that,” says Ferguson.
“Obviously they would need to stay at different places and have totally different campaigns but Graeme still loves the harness horses so I am sure he’d love to have this horse (Lovemeto) over there.
“I think the timing it works out well because there isn’t anything here for him at that stage of the season.
“He could be aimed at the Victoria Trotting Derby in late October, with a lead-up race or two, then come back here for the Derby at Addington.”
Ferguson hopes to be driving the son of What The Hill, because while he missed the Northern Derby win through suspension the last time he partnered Lovemeto in a race he won the Harness Million.
If Lovemeto heads to Victoria he could be accompanied by any or all of stablemates Seaclusion, Shez Bella or Wicked Wanda.
“I think Lovemeto is almost certain to go but with the other three we will see how they come up and then we can decide if they head across too.”
Remarkably, Lovemetoo is only rated the fourth favourite for the NZ Trotting Derby on Grand Prix day at Addiington in December, paying $9 with the TAB.
Sharp N Smart, who gave Rogerson the first half of a rare Derby double when he won the NZ Derby at Te Rapa in March, has his first trial of his new campaign at Te Rapa today, the first day of the new thoroughbred racing season