Connections of promising trotter Delson are hoping he can pick-up where he left off when he contests the Happy 40th Glenn Wallis Handicap Trot (2200m) at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday.
The Graeme Rogerson-trained gelding overcame his 40m handicap to dominantly win over 2700m at the Waikato track in March, but he will need to draw on all his talents to replicate the result over this weekend’s shorter distance.
“That’s (last start) what he is capable of and he did that with a few gears up his sleeve, but he is probably going to need to show them on Sunday,” driver and Rogerson’s stable foreman Dylan Ferguson said.
“He certainly seems to be in similar sort of form at the moment.”
Ferguson believes his charge has the ability to get up on Sunday, but he does have reservations about his handicap.
“He has been working up good, it’s just a tricky handicap. He is good enough, but we are going to need things to go our way.
“He has got a big enough engine for it, but it is never easy winning off big handicaps in any race let alone 2200m.
“He is as fit and well as he has ever been, so if he shows his best he certainly won’t be far away from them.”
Delson was one of only a handful of horses that remained in work at Rogerson’s private training property just outside of Hamilton and Ferguson has been pleased with the son of Majestic Son.
“He didn’t do a lot at all during lockdown, but it didn’t take too long to tighten the screws and he had a good hit-out at Cambridge on Saturday morning before the workouts, so he is pretty ready to go,” he said.
While it remains difficult to make any substantial plans at the moment, Ferguson said Delson would target Horse of The Year honours at Cambridge Raceway over winter before potentially heading south to contest bigger targets.
“The short-term goal is to win Horse of The Year at Cambridge and if he can step up in the next few months and show what we think he is capable of then we will map a bit of a plan towards cup week,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson has picked up two outside drives on Sunday behind Pembrook Charlie in the Marsh Equine & Livestock Insurance Mobile Pace (1700m) and Frankie Jones in the BetaVet Premium Natural Solutions Mobile Pace (2200m).
“My other two drives are nice chances,” Ferguson said. “They have both drawn the second row, which is always a bit tough.
“Both (trainers) Kyle (Marshall) and Scott (Dickson) usually have their horses pretty fit, so if we get the rub of the green with both of them they are nice chances.”
Ferguson is currently working a near 20-strong team and he has highlighted rising three-year-old trotter Gaz Man as the stable’s most exciting prospect heading into the new season.
“We had about four or five in work over Level 4, he said. “There are a couple more who will step out over the next couple of weeks. We are back working 19 at the moment.
“Gaz Man, a two-year-old trotter, had a couple of trials before the lockdown. He is only just back jogging now, but he is a horse we have got a bit of an opinion of.
“It is still a long way to go yet, but hopefully he is one that can step up and give us something to look forward to.” – Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk