After narrowly avoiding disaster as he left the starting gates, promising galloper Beauden showed just what a talent he could become over a staying journey when he demolished his rivals in Saturday’s open 2000m event at Awapuni. The Team Rogerson-trained five-year-old stumbled badly as the field emerged from the barrier with rider Ryan Elliot somehow maintaining his balance as his mount scrambled back to his feet. Unable to take up his normal forward position, Beauden settled back before charging between runners in the home straight to streak clear for an effortless four-length victory.
Co-trainer Graeme Rogerson was still shaking his head 24 hours on from the performance as he thought the Bullbars gelding’s chances had all but been extinguished at the start. “I just don’t know how he stayed on his feet, I really don’t,” he said. “To then go on to do that was quite remarkable, although we’ve always thought he had the makings of a top horse. “He’s been a bit of a work in progress and taken a while to mature but I think he might be at his peak now and he is quite capable of winning a good race this campaign.”
Just what that race will be is dependent on Beauden’s breeder and owner Joan Egan who Rogerson will consult in the next few days to determine his immediate target. “Joan has just been wonderful with him, so patient and she has just let us take him along slowly over the past two seasons,” Rogerson said. “We’ll sit down and have a good talk about our options as he is nominated for most of the summer features including the Thorndon Mile (Group 1, 1600m) and right up to the Auckland Cup (Group 1, 3200m), but in the end it will be Joan’s decision. “I think a race like the Zabeel Classic (Group 1, 2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day would be ideal but we will have a clearer picture once we’ve had a chat about it all.”
Team Rogerson’s day at Awapuni had started on a high note with a resounding victory over 1200m by progressive sprinter Mr Universe but a below par effort by stable and ownership mate Aalaalune in the Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) tempered the celebrations a little. “Aalaalune was just a victim of circumstances as she had well and truly run her race before the gates even opened,” Rogerson said. “She got wound up before the start when there was that eighteen-minute delay and that was it really. “It was nobody’s fault but she is pretty highly strung and didn’t cope with it well. She will bounce back from it though and is still on target for the three-year-old fillies races at the Ellerslie Christmas Carnival.”
Rogerson is also hopeful the win by Mr Universe will see him move up the order of entry for the Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m) on New Year’s Day as he currently sits in 26th position and in danger of missing a start in the set weights and penalties feature. “He is learning all the time and was better on Saturday, although not fool proof,” he said. “He should get a few points for the win and that should get him closer to a start in the Railway but I think he might line up in the Hallmark Stud Handicap (Listed, 1200m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie to try and make sure he gets in the Railway field.” Rogerson also indicated that exciting three-year-old Mascarpone is heading to the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham on January 11 following his comprehensive win over 1400m at the venue at his last start.