Sharp 'N' Smart (Redwood) awarded SENZ Horse of the Year.

Photo credit \ Steve Hart

Top Honours for Sharp ‘N’ Smart

A stellar season for Westbury Stud’s multiple Group 1 victor Sharp ‘N’ Smart was acknowledged on Sunday evening when he claimed the prestigious New Zealand Horse of the Year title.

The high-class son of resident stallion Redwood also staved off a hot line-up of elite level age group winners to be crowned Champion Three-Year-Old.

Trained by Graeme and Debbie Rogerson out of their Tuhikaramea base, Sharp ‘N’ Smart was bred by Westbury principal Gerry Harvey, who remains in the ownership group of the star performer.

“I’m so happy for the owners and the horse, they have been great and Gerry Harvey is a legend,” Graeme Rogerson said.

Sharp ‘N’ Smart won five of his eight starts last season and following a resuming success at Ruakaka he headed across the Tasman to Sydney to land the G3 Gloaming Stakes at Warwick Farm before triumphing in the G1 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.

He then moved on to Melbourne where he finished runner-up in the G1 VRC Derby at Flemington.

Sharp ‘N’ Smart returned home for a break and returned at Trentham against the older horses to run second in the G1 Thorndon Mile and then posted back-to-back victories at Te Rapa in the G1 Herbie Dyke Stakes and the G1 New Zealand Derby.

Unfortunately, he struck a heavy track in a return visit to Sydney when a gallant fourth in the G1 Australian Derby at Randwick to round out his three-year-old season.

Sharp ‘N’ Smart was unplaced in his four-year-old debut over 1400 metres in the G1 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings on Saturday.

“You can blame me for that, I tried to make him into a sprinter and he’s not,” Rogerson said.

“He’ll run next in the mile (G1 Arrowfield Stud Plate) and, at this stage, I envisage he will go to Melbourne to run in the Cox Plate as a lead-up to the Melbourne Cup.”

While Rogerson would dearly love to win the Flemington feature, he has another overseas Group 1 at the top of his wish list for Sharp ‘N’ Smart.

“I want to win the Melbourne Cup and I think he is the horse that will do New Zealand proud,” Rogerson said.

“The ultimate goal though would be to win the international mile and a-half race (G1 Hong Kong Vase) in Hong Kong.”