By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Cambridge Raceway is set to host one of its biggest nights on the racing calendar this weekend and a local horseman is hoping his stable can feature prominently.
Hamilton trainer Graeme Rogerson will be represented by a handful of runners on the nine-race card on Saturday and stable foreman Dylan Ferguson believes there a couple of winning hopes amongst them.
Eight-win mare She Reigns will lead the charge for the stable in the meeting’s feature race, the Gr.3 Waikato Trotting Breeders’ Stakes (2700m).
The daughter of Monarchy heads into the race off the back of a 5-3/4 length victory at the Waikato track last week, but Ferguson is wary of her 40m handicap.
“I think she is the best horse in the race, but a 14-horse field off 40m we are going to have to be on our A-game,” he said.
“It is never easy off big handicaps, but it is even harder when it is a full field.
“If we are 14 of 14 after a couple of hundred metres it’s not going to be plain sailing for her. She is going to have to be every bit as good to get the money.
“We have got to rely on a few mistake makers and a bit of good luck in the running, and a few good decisions by the pilot, and she should be pretty hard to beat.”
Talented but erratic trotter Delson will contest the Bayleys Coromandel Cambridge Gold Cup Final Handicap Trot (2700m) and Ferguson is hoping he brings his manners.
The five-year-old gelding lost all chance last start when breaking and Ferguson said punters should heed caution with his charge.
“He is not trotting 100 percent at the moment, but he did trial quite well at Cambridge on Saturday,” he said.
“You have got to take him on trust a little bit with his manners, but he is good enough to be there and good enough to be in the top three if he does things right.
“It’s all down to him and trotting all the way and trotting well.”
The Rogerson barn will also tackle the Farrier Supplies Cambridge Gold Cup Final Handicap Pace (2700m) with High Point, who finished runner-up to race rival New York Minute at Cambridge last week.
“She went really well last start,” Ferguson said. “Her good standing start manners put her in the race and that is probably going to be the key to the race again on Saturday.
“If she can begin quick and be in the lead, trail, or three the fence, she is going to be a good first four chance.
“The first 100m is going to be the key to her chances.”
Ferguson is looking forward to Saturday and tipped his hat to the club for local enthusiasts for getting the three feature races off the ground.
“It’s good to get a few feature races at The Raceway, highlighted by the mares trotting race,” he said. “It was good for them to get that off the ground with some Group status.
“The Gold Cup is a good opportunity for those intermediate grade horses that are stuck in limbo a little bit.
“The stand start puts everyone on a bit more of a level playing field. It’s good to get some good stake money up for grabs too.”