Nelson to lock horns with pacing heavyweights
The carefully planned comeback of Franco Nelson to pacings top ranks takes on another dimension at Addington this evening as he contests the Group Three New Brighton Cup. In terms of pacing royalty, all of the major combatants for this year's New Zealand Trotting Cup are there in what is nothing less than a shadow cup line-up.
Franco Nelson's 2016-2017 season began three weeks ago with a fast finishing third behind class pacers Locharburn and Tiger Tara in the Maurice Holmes Vase. He franked that form nine days later with a narrow, but convincing win in the Hannon Memorial over Tiger Tara, in a race that panned out well for the great sit and sprint exponent. Twelve days later and he is back at Addington ready to lock horns with the superstars of the game.
Troubled by a bone chip that affected his racing last season, an operation appears to have done the trick for the 7yr old Christian Cullen entire. With a handy draw that should work in his favour tonight, could Franco Nelson be the forgotten horse? His regular partner John Dunn has been rapt with everything his charge has done this time in and hopes that a fast getaway can really play into his hands by giving him options as to which horse to hand up to.
"The plan is to be in front with two laps to go and at the end," quipped John during the week.
You know that things are getting serious when the Purdon/Rasmussen colours hit the tracks for the big racing and with their triumvirate of Have Faith In Me, Lazarus and Smolda all engaged this evening an enticing clash is likely. All three of those runners have trialled up well and will be joined in the race by another horse that has trialled well for his resumption in Christen Me. But it doesn't end there, with Locharburn, Tiger Tara and Mossdale Connor all class horses accorded big chances.
In other action on the night, there are great fields carded for the second heat of the Sires Stakes and for the major trot this evening featuring Jag's Invasion from a stable interest. Dalness Xchange and Living Legend look possibly the best two chances for success this evening.
Posted: Fri 23 Sep 2016