Group Three feature looks keenly contested affair

While his last start was nearly 4 months ago and he is sure to benefit greatly from the run, don't be surprised to see stable star Franco Nelson feature prominently in his season pipe-opener, the Avon City Ford New Brighton Cup. The now 5yr old Christian Cullen entire was a last start winner at Cambridge in the Group One 4yr old Emerald on Jewels Day. He was then given a decent break before beginning his preparation towards this year's New Zealand Trotting Cup. In two workouts since his break he has shown that he has come back in good fettle.

After partnering stablemate Elios during their 4yr old clashes last season, John Dunn resumes his partnership with the McKay owned runner this preparation. Dunn is pleased with where his charge is at heading into this assignment, but is also well aware that whatever he does this time he will improve markedly with the run. "I'm not saying that he is not a winning hope first up, because he is such a class act. But he will definitely be better for the run."

(Photo courtesy of Harnesslink)

Franco Nelson an authoriative winner of the Group 2 Pelorus Classic back in January 

Toughest to beat in the Group 3 according to the fixed odds market are three times New Zealand Cup winner Terror To Love and the Purdon/Rasmussen trained Smolda that has impressed in his trials and workouts.  

Stablemate Pure Power a last start 3rd (later relegated to 4th) in the Hannon Memorial has also pleased Dunn. "I was happy with the run at Oamaru and he has been kept ticking along since then. He seems very well." He too continues to push for a place in the cup, the second Tuesday in November.

Posted: Thu 25 Sep 2014

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