Rogers tips promising start to new season
Albany trainer Roy Rogers is confident of a winning start to the new Great Southern racing season, which kicks off on Sunday at the Mt Barker Turf Club, with star sprinter Potent Secret and smart youngster Tango Ora both set to resume.
A competitive seven-race card will begin a busy 20-meeting calendar across the two Great Southern venues in the MBTC and Percy Spencer Racecourse this season.
Tango Ora showed plenty of promise as a three-year-old, producing a dominant maiden victory in Bunbury and then winning a midweek 1000m race at his next start before twice playing in Saturday metropolitan grade.
The Oratorio gelding has drawn perfectly for his first-up run with Daniel Staeck to ride him from barrier one with 54kg on his back.
Rogers also has Potent Secret engaged in the Mario’s Fruit And Veg Handicap (1000m), where the 2016 Summer Scorcher winner will return from a break of almost 11 months.
The speedy eight-year-old ran in a number of listed and Group 3 races last season but has not run since January 1 and is primed for a big fresh performance with 4kg claiming apprentice Beaux Banovic-Edwards in the saddle.
Potent Secret was handed 62kg as top weight in the race that contains Lindsey Smith-trained sprinter Bombs Away, last season’s Fitzpatrick Plate winner Long Knife and Steve Wolfe pair Arrum Boy and Captivated Point.
Tranquilla Sunrise is the third Rogers runner in the race, and the local trainer is confident all can figure in the finish.
“All three horses go good fresh,” Rogers said.
“With the trials being called off the previous week, I thought it was better to go a week out no trial and keep them fresh. Tango Ora is a good lightweight chance. I think he’ll be a pretty handy horse and Potent Secret gets weight off his back and has come back really well from a decent spell.”
Rogers was confident Tango Ora, bred locally at Mungrup Stud, could take the next step this campaign and potentially run in the listed feature races like the Summer Scorcher, Miss Andretti Stakes and Scenic Blast Stakes.
The season opener will see Rogers take a team of 12 to Mt Barker and he was bullish on the chances of Classic Jack, Anna Amalia and Orasky.
The first race at Sunday’s Pretty In Pink meeting will start at 1.30pm.
Meanwhile, Wolfe galloper Red Ora will resume against a small field in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) as Ascot on Saturday.
A winner of the Bunbury Stakes and Mungrup Stud Sprint earlier this year, Red Ora is one of seven runners in the feature race that includes Galaxy Star, Action and Disposition.
After running sixth in the Belmont Sprint, the seven-year-old was spelled and returns first up with 57kg and Shaun McGruddy aboard form barrier three.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails