The weekend’s feature race favourite Big Duke...
A son of triple Melbourne Cup hero Makybe Diva, Surrey, could develop into a genuine contender for the world’s richest handicap according to Kiwi horseman Graeme Rogerson.
Rogerson is no stranger to success in the iconic Melbourne Cup race at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November having taken out the two mile classic back in 2007 with the great grey Efficient.
He is now dreaming of a second success in the Group 1 $6.2 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) in 2018 with the well-bred Surrey whose dam Makybe Diva (2003-05) remains the only three-time Melbourne Cup champion in history.
“The dream is the first Tuesday in November, but I suppose a lot has got to happen before then,” Rogerson told Racing Victoria on Tuesday.
“I think he’s a Cup horse in the making.
“I’m just going to give him two more starts and then give him a break and come back in the spring and see if we can get him over there and make a challenge.
“He’s a beautiful-moving horse.”
High Chaparral five-year-old Surrey races this weekend at home across the Tasman at Te Rapa looking to post back-to-back wins over a mile following his success by two and a half lengths on May 2 at Matamata.
“He’s got a lot going for him,” Rogerson said.
“He’s only running in a mile (1600m) at Te Rapa on Saturday as he’s just learning how to race.
“It might be too short for him but it’s an important race for him looking to the future.”
Surrey was originally a $275,000 yearling by for six-time Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams.
The horse was finally transferred to New Zealand, picked up by Rogerson’s connections in March as part of a five-horse contingent that also included former Sydney Cup winner Gallante, after failing to have a start in Australia after four years post-purchase.
“He’s working with open company horses and I think he’s got the makings of a real good horse,” Rogerson said of Surrey.
“He’s got to measure up yet. He’s got to climb a few rungs.
“He’s got a big reputation as he trialled enormous before we ran him and you’ve just got to look at his breeding.
“He’s a magnificent big animal and a beautiful-natured horse. He actually worked with Gallante this morning but he was far too good for him.
“Lloyd’s done a great job. I mean, how many blokes would wait that long?
“He sent him to us in beautiful order. He’s done seven weeks in a dressage course and another seven weeks training before we got him.”
Rogerson will also have an eye on the Adelaide races on Saturday with his Fast ‘N’ Famous four-year-old Ferrando a $41 roughie through Ladbrokes.com.au in Morphettville’s Group 1 $1 million The Goodwood (1200m).
As for all-in Melbourne Cup 2018 odds on Surrey, the New Zealand galloper is a $101 to emulate his mother with success in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
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