Three year olds looking to put best foot forward in resumption

Garta and Franco Niven were two highly regarded two year olds last season and showed up as a pair with a real future. Tomorrow at Amberley they make their season debut and after good trial runs last week, bold runs are expected from both.

Last season as a two year old, Garta was good enough to place second, behind champion two year old Princess Tiffany in the Group Two Delightful Lady Classic. She never quite managed to reproduce that form in her following runs, but a succession of poor draws were often her undoing.

Garta has come back a stronger filly at three and has progressed towards tomorrow with a workout placing and a trial win, at Rangiora last week. 

"She's come back good," said John.

"The two trial runs have been pleasing and she ran home some nice sectionals last week."

The biggest obstacle for Garta tomorrow may be the wide draw over the 1950m in Race Five, but she does bring a touch of class and is sure to be put in the fight at some stage by John.

Garta looked ready to go at last week's trials

Franco Niven was highly rated by Robert and John last season, but we never saw the best of him. He makes his South Island debut in Race Six.

"He's come back a lot stronger horse," said John.

"He's had his share of aches and pains, but his trial win last week suggests he's pretty right."

Franco Niven has not raced for 11 months and John explained that he has had some issues along the way. 

"We brought him in and he went amiss, so we tipped him out for a good break."

"This time in he has seemed a lot better."

In last week's trial he enjoyed a nice trail, popped off to challenge on the turn and went away for the easiest of wins. He will need a bit of luck tomorrow from his draw also, but if he gets it he is clearly one of the toughest to beat.

Franco Niven an impressive trial winner last week

Posted: Tue 05 Feb 2019

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