Franco Nelson set for first start for Bond stable
Unable to get home easily after the Inter-Dominion final three weeks ago, Franco Nelson has stayed in Perth instead, officially joining the Greg and Skye Bond stable for a three race campaign that begins with tonight's Village Kid Pace over the 2130m. The race that has understandably attracted the best in the west, is in many ways a $60,000 curtain-raiser for bigger targets over the following two weeks - the $300,000 Freemantle Cup and the $450,000 WA Pacing Cup.
Franco Nelson will be driven in tonight's race by Ryan Bell who works for the Bonds and is their second string stable driver behind Ryan Warwick. Bell has been really pleased with the Christian Cullen entire's progress heading into tonight's race.
"There looks a fair bit of speed early on, so I'll be looking to find a hole and will then be trusting his speed at the business end."
Franco Nelson's bad run with the draws has continued tonight drawing barrier six, while his toughest rivals, Beaudienne Boaz and Chicago Bull have drawn well in barriers two and four respectively. However, Bell was far from conceding defeat in the race.
"Providing we can get a drag into it at the right time and are close enough turning in, then he is in this big-time," said Bell.
Bell who is one of Western Australia's top drivers is pushing 500 career driving wins, and trains on his own account as well as working for the Bonds.
"A big highlight for me was driving Power Of Tara to win the 2009 Freemantle Cup. It was at that same time that I first met Dexter Dunn also as part of the Australasian Young Drivers Champs."
No doubt Bell would like nothing more than winning that cup for a second time next week, but for now the target is very much tonight's race and a positive performance ahead of the two big Group One features.
The Bond stable is also represented tonight by Our Jimmy Johnstone and Change Stride, with Our Jimmy Johnstone to be driven by Ryan Warwick the most favoured of the three from his barrier five.
Posted: Fri 30 Dec 2016