Team Rogerson will venture south to Riccarton on Saturday with three of their better credentialed mares, two of which are soon to be on the market.
The partnership of Graeme, Debbie and Bailey Rogerson have multiple stakes winner and consistent performer Contessa Vanessa set to contest the meeting’s feature, the Gr.3 Valachi Downs South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m), while Gift Of Power and Nuclear Fusion will also appear on the undercard.
Runner-up in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) and the winner of the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and the Gr.3 Sunline Vase (2100m) in her three-year-old season, four-year-old mare Contessa Vanessa has raced well this season without winning.
“She’s been going really good races,” Graeme Rogerson said of the daughter of Bullbars who has been installed a $1.90 favourite for Saturday’s Group Three assignment.
“It was a terrific run last start behind the stablemate (Sandrine) and I couldn’t be happier with her.”
Should Contessa Vanessa perform to expectations she might continue on to the Listed Christchurch Casino Easter Cup (1600m), also at Riccarton, on April 6.
“She is certainly up there with the best horses, Danzdanzdance only beat her a half-head in spring, she is up there with them,” Rogerson said.
“She is entered for the Magic Millions broodmare sale, but I have to talk to the owners still.”
One mare who is definitely bound for the mid-year Queensland auction is well-bred filly Gift Of Power who will contest the Sonia & Garry Thompson Open Sprint (1200m).
“She is far better racing left-handed and last week we decided to run Volks Lightning and Ferrando in the Lightning at Trentham (Listed, 1200m), and take her to Christchurch.
“She is a very good horse, she is probably one of the most valuable broodmares in New Zealand, her pedigree is just unbelievable. You can’t get any closer to Eight Carat than Gift of Power.
“Bailey bought her at the sales and we were always going to sell her when we were finished with her as she is raced by a syndicate.
“There has been interest from people from America and Japan and she is just a beautiful mare.
“I have sold some champion broodmares, including Vegas Showgirl the dam of Winx, and she is probably one of the nicest mares I have ever taken to a sale.
“She will probably run again down there in two weeks and then we may look at running her in Australia.”
The Group Two winner has won 11 of her 22 starts to date.
Rogerson is also confident of a strong showing from Nuclear Fusion, who will contest a Rating 72 event over 1400m.
“She is a good mare that has had no luck in her last couple of starts but she did run super at Ellerslie, she will run well,” he said.
Meanwhile, quality three-year-old More Wonder has undergone a minor operation after finishing 16th in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) earlier this month.
“We took a bone chip out of the back of his fetlock and he will go out into the paddock next week,” Rogerson said. “He is a very good horse but he won’t be seen out now till the spring.”
Speaking just hours after landing in Hong Kong, Rogerson also confirmed that high-class sprinter Ferrando would not be campaigning internationally, despite holding a nomination for the Gr.1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin on April 28.
“He is definitely not going, he is out until the spring,” Rogerson said. – NZ Racing Desk