Redwood’s outstanding son Sharp ‘N’ Smart further boosted his Classic prospects on both sides of the Tasman with a glorious second-up defeat of his older rivals in the G1 Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa.
The Gerry Harvey-bred and co-owned three-year-old, who was a gallant runner-up when resuming in the G1 Thorndon Mile at Trentham, had to overcome a horror run over 2000 metres from the outside gate and he coped with aplomb.
Sharp ‘N’ Smart was caught three wide without cover, but he wasn’t to be denied under pressure in the straight and the TAB bookmakers reacted sharply and he’s now a $2.60 favourite for the G1 New Zealand Derby.
“When he learns to be a racehorse I think I’ve got a good horse,” co-trainer and part-owner Graeme Rogerson said with a smile.
“I think he’s a freak as he can run 600 metres in 33s and he still gives when you ask him."
“I think next spring you could see a real good horse."
“I’d love to take him to Hong Kong, but it is the New Zealand Derby next and then the Australian Derby.”
Rogerson is also keen to target the G1 Caulfield Cup and the G1 Melbourne Cup later in the year.
Rider Ryan Elliot didn’t mince his words after a performance to savour.
“He is an absolute champion and the best thing about him is that he still has room to improve,” he said.
“He had a tough run at Wellington first up and he really tightened up well for this race."
“I thought they might punch up early so I was able to settle back a little three-wide with cover as he does switch off so well."
“He came off the bridle early and you have to kid a little to him, but he really dug in deep and went through the line very strongly."
“He is up there with the best I’ve ridden and he has so much more to give as he is still mentally weak, so there is a lot more in store for him.”
On his last visit to Australia in the spring, he triumphed in the G3 Gloaming Stakes and G1 Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney and was then spelled after finishing runner-up in the G1 VRC Derby.
Sharp ‘N’ Smart is the first live foal of the Swiss Ace mare Queen Margaret, who also has an unraced two-year-old filly by Redwood.
The dam is a half-sister to the dual Listed winner Absalon and the immediate family of the Hong Kong stakes winner Sir Ernest with multiple Group 1 winner and sire Halling adding an international flavour to the pedigree.
Tarzino filly impresses
Tarzino filly Kildrummie lived up to her rich pedigree when she produced a commanding performance over 1600 metres at Bendigo to break her maiden.
Trained by Danny O’Brien, the three-year-old was quickly into stride for Damien Thornton to trail the leader and was into the clear at the top of the straight.
She lengthened stride in fine style when urged along and raced clear to score by three and a-quarter lengths.
“There was a bit of tempo in the race and she switched off, she’ll take a lot of confidence from that,” Thornton said.
Kildrummie had placed in two of her previous three appearances and stable representative Beth Schroen said she was improving all the time.
“That was fantastic and she’s a horse that has taken a few runs to relax and save her energy for the important part of the race.”
Kildrummie was bred by Rosemont Stud, who have remained in the ownership group, and is a daughter of the Iffraaj mare Sardaaj.
She was a talented performer who won twice and finished runner-up in the G1 Levin Classic and the G2 Eight Carat Classic during a brief career.