"Nelson" and "Trick" set for cup tilt
The path to this year's New Zealand Trotting Cup has been a smooth one for Franco Nelson by and large. Even a less than ideal draw is not going to knock the confidence levels ahead of tomorrow's big race.
A convincing winner at Kaikoura last week, John and his hard working Woodend team could not be any happier with their champ heading into this year's cup. To say that he is in the zone right now is an understatement, but then there is that draw!
In typical John Dunn style he has simply shaken off any disappointment with the draw, instead excited by the possibility of following through Smolda early on and getting a nice run. While hugely respectful of the Purdon/Rasmussen triumvirate of Lazarus, Have Faith In Me and Smolda, that have proven themselves time and time again at the very highest level, all that John is hoping for is a bit of luck early and then a genuine pace throughout. At his peak two years ago, Franco Nelson was beaten by the narrrowest of margins by champion mare Adore Me, in what was a world record over the 3200m. In last year's cup when trained by Michael House, he again went a super race running 4th after an interrupted preparation. To put it simply, this boy can stay!
"He is just an amazing follower of speed," said John.
"I just hope that we can get an uninterrupted run and be in the right place at the right time."
"It is so hard to know how this race will pan out. There are so many factors that can affect the horses and their temperament - the crowd, the national anthem and the fact that it is the race that everyone wants to win."
"I know that some of the better ones have drawn well, but how many times do you see those ones out wide get a flyer and come right across them."
To everyone who has been involved with Franco Nelson this time in, enjoy the big day and lets hope that it is one of racings real good buggers Mr J R Dunn that is saluting at the end of the two mile slog!
The other stable rep in the cup is Quick As A Trick to be driven by Jess Young in what is her first cup drive. John was really pleased with his run at Ashburton a fortnight ago in which he ran a top race for second behind Dream About Me.
"It was just really good to see him get away like that. When he gets it right, he can really fly the tapes."
"My hope with him is that he gets away well early and can secure a nice run on the markers. He's really well and can run a competitive race thats for sure."
Outside of the All Stars runners in the cup, John felt that it could be brother Dexter and Christen Me that were the forgotten horse in the race.
"He's been a champion and he loves racing at this level. I can actually see him crossing all of them early on and that makes him a dangerous proposition."
Article by Mike Drury
Posted: Mon 07 Nov 2016