Graeme Rogerson is once again flexing his buying muscles in the harness game and has plans to expand sharply.
The first of his new recruits, Anna Kate, was victorious at Cambridge on Friday night with stable foreman Dylan Ferguson in the bike.
Rogerson says harness racing is very much a hobby for him, but he sees talent in Ferguson and wants to help him out.
“I quite enjoy the trots. I’m a great watcher; it’s my hobby, really.
“I like the boy because he’s a very hard worker.
“He worked for me early on and once Warren Rich moved on, we got him back.
“He’s an under-rated driver, too.
“Surprisingly enough, my granddaughter, Bailey, and her mum, Michelle (Northcott) like the trots, too.
“So, I bought a couple of trotters for them to ride in the montes, but it looks like they may be a bit better than that.”
Rogerson’s other new acquisition, Delson, makes his northern debut at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
He won his second start, at Winton, for former trainer Nathan Williamson just before Christmas.
“He’s a very nice horse that one.
“And she (Anna Kate) is nice enough, too.
“I think we’ll buy some more.”
Part of the plan is a cluster of yearlings and two-year-olds bred by Rogerson and his partners, most by decent sires.
“We’ve bred some nice ones and a few of them have been broken in and show a lot of promise.
“I’ll definitely be active at the sales. Just how many, I’m not sure yet.
“Dylan has been out looking at all the parades and I fancy myself as a bit of a judge, too.
“Whatever I want, I usually get and I’ve got a very good friend in Merv Butterworth to help me out.
“The only trouble is, the ones I want, everyone else wants them too.
“I’m the biggest owner but I don’t mind spending it because it’s quite enjoyable for me.
“Bailey will probably buy one too, I’d say.”
Rogerson and Ferguson actually combined to score a double on the night with four-year-old mare High Point proving too good for her opponents too.
“Credit to Dylan, he liked both horses tonight and they won.
“I thought High Point might make a nice amateur horse for Michelle but he didn’t like it when I said that.”
Rogerson figures the stable numbers will increase from around 10 to “20 or 25”, depending on whether he can find the right staff to help out Ferguson.
“Bailey and Michelle help out where they can, but they’re usually too busy with the gallopers.
“There’s just not enough hours in the day.”
Rogerson also has hopes of buying a going horse at the top of the market.
“I’m hoping to get a Cup horse, but I haven’t found one that I like just yet.
“I’ve got a few contacts around the place and I have a set criteria.
“I just have to stick to what I think, because I’ve been a bit successful at it.”
If nothing else, Rogerson hopes to give Ferguson a real push next season and beyond.
“I’ve seen enough of Mark Purdon here to know that good horses make good drivers and trainers.
“I think he (Dylan) just needs that to be successful. He needs a good horse.
“So, I’ll build him up and give him that chance.
“I might have to work a bit of overtime to pay for them, but I don’t I’ll be losing on them.
“We won’t be going broke.
“We’ll see what we end up with and go from there.”