Racing: Ichiban holds on to win stakes

Ichiban, right, and Leith Innes win the Great Northern Foal Stakes. Photo / Trish Dunell
Ichiban, right, and Leith Innes win the Great Northern Foal Stakes. Photo / Trish Dunell

Graeme Rogerson barely had time to catch his breath after Ichiban's victory at Ellerslie yesterday before he headed to the airport.

The Tuhikaramea trainer was bound for Queensland to oversee the sale of the dual Group Two winner Serena Miss, who is going to auction as a broodmare prospect at the Gold Coast next Wednesday to dissolve a partnership.

"She's been a high-class racehorse and I think she will be making a lot of money," said Rogerson, who shares in the ownership of the daughter of Iffraaj.

He is also a co-owner of Ichiban and he rates yesterday's Listed Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes winner as a future Group One prospect.

"He's going to be a really good horse," Rogerson said.

"We've had a few big offers for him so I'll have to talk to the other owners when I get back, but I would be happy to keep him for next season's 2000 Guineas."

Ichiban was in touch with the pace throughout and, despite racing greenly in the straight under Leith Innes, he held on to score narrowly from Quantum.

"Leith was very impressed with him," Rogerson said.

"He did everything to get beaten, but he still got there.

"He's still very immature and he's got a lot of developing to do.

"He'll go to the paddock now " I've got a few other young ones around and Lord Ascot can run for us in the Castletown Stakes next weekend."

Rogerson also drew on his inside knowledge to gain confidence in Ichiban's ability to handle Saturday's Heavy 10 track conditions.

"I've had a bit of success with his family and they all handled wet tracks," he said.

Rogerson has won seven races with Ichiban's brother Staccato and he also prepared their relative Illuminates to win 10 races, including four at Listed level in Australia.

- Herald on Sunday

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