Successful Cross Code Greyhound Ownership

Auckland Cup winning trainer Peter Ferguson makes a concerted effort to involve racing industry participants from all three codes in ownership of greyhounds that he prepares at his Cambridge base with his wife Wendy.

Pictured: Auckland Cup winner Silenci whose owning syndicate includes industry participants from all three racing codes


Auckland Cup winner Silenci is a classic example of cross-code ownership instigated by the Ferguson’s. Included in his ownership are Michelle Northcott, Gary Hardaker, Sam, Murray and Robert Logan, Ian and Carol O’Neill, along with the Ferguson’s.

Michelle Northcott has been there and done that within the racing industry and she can be genuinely described as a tri-code participant, having been a successful long-time amateur jockey and amateur harness driver and more recently greyhound owner.


Her partner Gary Rogerson is a son of leading thoroughbred trainer Graeme Rogerson and the couple, along with their daughter Bailey, maintain active involvement in the successful racing stables. Bailey trains in partnership with her grandfather Graeme and his wife Debbie, under the “team Rogerson” banner.     


Mother and daughter have even ridden against each other in amateur jockey races around the country, while Mum has previously won NZ national Amateur Jockey series. Her first love is with the gallopers, especially jumpers, however it was in harness racing which saw her savouring her biggest career success.


That came in 2012 when Michelle Northcott was selected to represent New Zealand in the Ladies World Cup for Amateur Drivers in Italy. She won one of her races and in doing so became the first New Zealand women driver to drive a winner in Europe. “That was a huge buzz, firstly to be driving against some of the best amateur women in the world but to actually win a race up there,” she recalled.



Successful Ladies World Cup for Amateur Drivers in Italy Michelle Northcott and with partner Gary Rogerson and daughter Bailey (pics Gavin Cook)


She also has another racing “first” listed beside her name. “I won the first Monty race (TAB) held at Alexandra Park.” Monty racing is riding a trotter on horse-back (no sulky).


Northcott, along with the Ferguson’s, has also been keen and active supporters of the harness racing’s Kidz Kartz program for budding up and coming harness drivers. It was involvement in this program that provided Bailey, when aged eight, with an early involvement in the equine industry. “Bailey won Auckland, Manukau and Waikato Cups in Kidz Kartz,” said her proud mum, who added,” She’s about to head up to England to work in Mark Todd’s equestrian stables for a short period.”   


Northcott was rapt with March 1 being the Auckland Cup day as she explains. “Our weekends are full-on, especially as I drive our horse trucks to the races. I’m taking horses to Trentham, while previously I did the Wairoa circuit with the horses – it’s a full-on industry which keeps all of us very busy. Auckland Cup day was a rare Sunday off, so it was great for all of us to go up there to watch Silenci race in the cup.


“I initially thought he was going to get rolled when he was leading, but when he led going for home, I started yelling my head off. It’s a pretty cool feeling to win the greyhound cup – it’s awesome for Fergie who puts so much into the greyhounds,” she added from Rogerson’s Tuhikaramea training base the following day which also involves working on a spelling farm with cattle. “There’s no rest for the wicked,” she chuckled.


Let’s leave the last word to the dual winning Harness Auckland Cup driver Peter Ferguson. “Michelle is a full-on keen and respected industry member. It’s fantastic to have her and other industry people involved in racing greyhounds with us,” he advised adding, “Michele keeps on saying when are we getting our next one (greyhound).”  Michelle Northcott has enjoyed previous greyhound success being involved in the ownership of Odnoc Ankie with Wendy Ferguson.


It was celebration time in the Manukau Stadium for the owners of Auckland Cup winner Silenci and third-placed Robson (from top left): Murray Logan, Gary Rogerson, Michelle Northcott, Ian O’Neill, Debbie Hardaker (bottom), Peter Ferguson (with Robson), Garry Hardaker, Carol O’Neill, Fran Logan, Wendy Ferguson (with Selinci); Odnoc Ankie who is raced by Michelle Northcott and Wendy Fergusson


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 11 March 2020

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