"Nelson" targets Free-For-All

Following an outstanding performance for second in yesterday's New Zealand Cup, Franco Nelson will again go to battle with the big guns in Friday's Group One Woodlands New Zealand Free-For-All.

Reflecting on his charge's huge run in the cup, co-trainer and driver John Dunn was full of praise for the 5yr old Christian Cullen entire. "He's gone super alright," enthused John.

After beginning the best he has all season, Franco Nelson was able to ease into an early 3 back trail, before surging to the front with just over two laps to go. John elected to take a drag home on the back of Terror To Love handing up the lead to that runner with 1400m to go. As the fireworks unfolded behind them over the last 800m of the race, John and "Nelson" waited for their opportunity to use the passing lane. Ironically in reflecting on things today, John felt that he didn't really get the tow into the passing lane that he needed. "We did get held up a bit and it may have cost us."

As usual though John was gracious in defeat and full of praise for the efforts of winner Adore Me who he declared had gone "enormous".

While cup day is without doubt the biggest on the calendar in this country, Friday's Show Day meeting provides an excellent opportunity to again see the best in the business. Franco Nelson's task of matching up with the big guns - Adore Me, Terror to Love and Christen Me has been made even harder after drawing the outside of the frontline over the 1950m. It may mean that on this occasion, that John is obliged to drive the horse with more of a sit and hope that the other big hopes go to war up front. Look for him to come powering over the top of them at the end.

Christen Me and brother Dexter, an unlucky 5th in the cup after missing away, look certain to start favourites drawing the best of the big name stars in barrier 5.  

Franco Nelson goes oh so close in yesterday's New Zealand Cup.

Posted: Wed 12 Nov 2014