Franco Nelson strong again in premier company
John's "good thing" for the weekend, Franco Nelson, was again in sublime form in the second of Alexandra Park's December Premier meetings. After settling back from his 10m handicap, John launched the 4yr old Christian Cullen entire 1200m out. Having to work to get the lead, he was thereafter in full control. While still "gawking around" in the home straight he was kept up to the mark by John, rounding out the race with a last 800m in 57.0 and the 400m in 27.4 to hold on by 1/2 length from a game Kiwi Ideal. This maintains an outtsanding record for the Clive and Rona McKay owned runner. It was his 12th win from just 22 starts, with four seconds and four thirds, representing $189,448 in stake-earnings. His only defeat from five starts on the track came in the Great Northern Derby in March, when placed 3rd behind Ohoka Punter and Adore Me. He has thrived on the trip and looks sure to add to this impressive record before long.
Franco Nelson an impressive winner of the Grp 3 Kumeu Founders Cup
Later in the night, Elios all but emulated his winning performance of last week, going down to the Purdon/Rasmussen trained All Star Man by just 1/2 head. From his wide draw he was hustled to take the early lead and dictated a good pace until the 1200m at which point John opted for a trail behind All Star Man. Into the straight he really found in the run to the line and went down by the narrow margin. Ultimately the early burst to lead may have been the difference between 1st and 2nd. However, to pace 2nd in a race won in 2.39.3, is no mean effort and also shows how much the Bettor's Delight 4yr old has thrived on the trip.
Elios the gamest of 2nds behind All Star Man in a race run in a stunning 2.39.3
In terms of other stable runners:
Return To Sender - had no luck in his race, finishing a game 3rd behind Aldo Rossi. After being unable to cross and lead early he was obliged to race parked throughout. What was impressive was the way in which he dug in over the last 200m for his placing. He is a lot stronger horse this campaign.
Hurricane Bromac - was handy early, but then got pushed back over the last 800m. He was unable to muster much of an effort in the home straight.
John and Venus show roles on
Earlier in the night in the 3yr old fillies Sires Stakes heat, John continued his great association with champion filly Venus Serena. After working hard to lead early, Venus Serena was then able to dictate terms. She went clear early in the home straight, but was all out to hold out a spirited finish from Libertybelle Midfrew, who looms as her major threat in the Sires Stakes final on New Years eve. This was her 8th win from her 12 starts and she has now bankrolled over $308,000 in stakes.
Posted: Sat 14 Dec 2013