Promising Waikato trotter Delson gave everyone a glimpse of his potential when winning the ‘Fathers of Football’ Handicap Trot (2700m) in dominant fashion at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
The Graeme Rogerson-trained four-year-old began well from his unruly mark on the front row and was able to secure the lead in the hands of driver Dylan Feguson.
The pair were able to dictate terms throughout and ran away to a 3-1/2 length victory over Miss Blissful, with M’Lord Mackendon three-quarters of a length back in third.
Ferguson, who is also Rogerson’s stable foreman, was confident heading into the race after Delson’s runner-up performance behind Kenny’s Dream last start, but was wary of his gelding’s manners.
“We were pretty confident with him, as long as he brought his manners,” Ferguson said.
“On paper he was one of the better horses in the race, so we took luck out of the equation and drove him like the best horse in the field.
“I was a bit disappointed he got beaten last start, but after seeing what that horse (Kenny’s Dream) came out and did last night as well (win by 3-3/4 lengths), it reassured me a bit.”
Delson has now taken his record to three wins and two placings from seven starts and Ferguson believes he has a big future ahead of him if he develops better racing manners.
“He’s certainly a promising horse going forward and as long as he matures physically and mentally there is no reason why he couldn’t make an open-class trotter within another six or 12 months,” he said.
While Ferguson believes Delson is on his way to open-class, the Majestic Son gelding may not get a chance to add to his tally over winter.
“I’m not too sure at the moment whether he has a couple more runs or goes for a little break, we will just take one step at a time with him,” he said. “But it’s hard to turn your back on such good stakes at Auckland.”
Ferguson, who began his career at Rogerson’s barn, returned to become his foreman in November last year and he said he is enjoying his time at the Hamilton stable.
“It’s really good, we have got a handful of racehorses, but mainly just have the babies at the moment. Hopefully we will have a nice team next season,” he said.
Rogerson was active at the yearling sales earlier this year, purchasing an Art Major colt for $190,000 and a Bettor’s Delight colt for $32,000 and Ferguson has been pleased with their progress to date.
“All of the yearlings have just about finished their second preparation,” he said.
“They haven’t done a huge amount, but they are all nice horses, so hopefully one of them will put their hand up.”
Ferguson is also looking forward to competing in next month’s New Zealand Junior Driver Championships and is eager to take home the title after two previous runner-up efforts.
“I have qualified every year I have been a junior,” he said. “It is everyone’s goal is to make it to those competitions. It should be a good weekend away again.
“This will be my sixth year going down there. I have had two seconds, so I need to try and crack it for a win.” – Cambridge Raceway
Race Replay: Delson winning the "Fathers of Football" Handicap Trot