Fran­caletta looks for re­demp­tion

The Timaru Herald - - SPORT - TIM RYAN

For­get Fran­caletta’s last start fail­ure when as­sess­ing the form for Satur­day’s Taranaki Breed­ers’ Stakes (1400m) at Haw­era.

Up to 1600 me­tres sec­ond-up in a new cam­paign proved too much for the Mur­ray Baker and An­drew Fors­man-trained mare at Awa­puni.

‘‘She can bounce back,’’ Fors­man said. ‘‘We ex­pect her to run well.

‘‘She’s look­ing a pic­ture and work­ing well.’’

From a sta­ble cur­rently win­ning ma­jor races on both sides of the Tas­man that’s a good wrap and pun­ters agree, in­stalling her as $3.40 favourite in the Group III race with reg­u­lar rider Michael Cole­man aboard.

Last year’s win­ner Un­derthe­moon­light ($3.60) is sec­ond favourite and has re­turned en­cour­ag­ing track work at Mata­mata this week.

‘‘We’ve been very happy with her work this week,’’ trainer Karyn McQuade said. ‘‘She’s been work­ing so well.’’

Rid­den by race day jockey Cameron Lam­mas Un­derthe­moon­light worked bril­liantly on Tues­day morn­ing run­ning 1000m in 1:02.4.

Con­nec­tions of Thee Auld Floozie ($7) will hope a step back in class will bring a win­ning re­sult.

The mare’s last two starts have been in Group I com­pany at the Hawke’s Bay car­ni­val where she fin­ished out of the money.

‘‘Her work has been very good and if we could get a bet­ter track it would help her,’’ trainer Stephen Marsh said.

The Master­crafts­man mare has won once on a heavy track and sev­eral times on dead foot­ing and gets on well with her rider Rosie My­ers.

Rated as a Slow9 on Fri­day, the track at Haw­era had un­der­gone pre-race in­spec­tions and con­cerns al­layed over a small area of the track.

‘‘It was a bit damper than the rest of the track so the club has been pro-ac­tive and done a bit of work and there’s no prob­lem,’’ said na­tional venue in­spec­tor Garry Fos­kett.

‘‘It was a gen­eral thing, not a big worry and just a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure.’’

Some light rain is fore­cast clear­ing to hope­fully bring a fine race day.

Early bet­ting has seen Un­derthe­moon­light shorten in the mar­ket while Fran­caletta has her ad­mir­ers.

‘‘The early money is com­ing for Un­derthe­moon­light,’’ TAB odd­s­set­ter Thadeus Tay­lor said on Fri­day af­ter­noon.. ‘‘She’s the best backed.

‘‘The money is start­ing to come for Fran­caletta and there won’t be much between them at the jump.’’

Aide Me­moire ($5.50) has been steady in the mar­ket while Let Her Rip ($7) has her fans.

Trainer Roger James would fancy the chances of Ro­man­tic Maid ($18) if track con­di­tions don’t de­te­ri­o­rate.

‘‘She has been work­ing re­ally well,’’ he said.

Lock Ginger­nuts in for the resched­uled Li­va­mol Classic but more im­por­tantly a clash with Winx, one race later, is look­ing more likely by the day.

Te Akau prin­ci­pal David Ellis has con­firmed the last start win­ner, of the Wind­sor Park Plate, will be in the nom­i­na­tions for the Li­va­mol on Tues­day and is cer­tain to be back at Hast­ings for the $250,000 Group I weight-for-age con­test.

One start later, the Kiwi horse with the cult fol­low­ing, looks set to take on Winx - the won­der mare who is un­beaten in her last 21 starts - in a trans-Tas­man bat­tle that will be a mar­ket­ing dream for the TAB if it comes off.

Ginger­nuts, the New Zealand Derby win­ner of last sea­son, was favourite for the Li­va­mol (2040m) on Oc­to­ber 7 but the meet­ing was aban­doned be­fore the race be­gan due to a shifty sec­tion of the track just af­ter the win­ning post.

The aban­don­ment car­ried mas­sive con­se­quences for Ginger­nuts and plans to fly to Aus­tralia three days later were quickly shelved, as was a start in the Caulfield Cup.

The Li­va­mol was resched­uled for Oc­to­ber 22 and Stephen Autridge, who trains the Te Akau team in part­ner­ship with Jamie Richards, told Stuff on Mon­day that Ginger­nuts was likely to be back at Hast­ings but spec­u­la­tion con­tin­ued that the three-time Group I win­ner was still a chance to head across the Tas­man be­fore the resched­uled date.

Ellis put an end to the spec­u­la­tion on Fri­day when he con­firmed Ginger­nuts for the Li­va­mol be­fore he heads to Mel­bourne for an­other weight-for-age as­sign­ment over 2000 me­tres at Flem­ing­ton on Novem­ber 11.

‘‘We will head to Aus­tralia for the Emi­rates Stakes on the last day of the car­ni­val,’’ Ellis said.

There is still plenty of water to go un­der the bridge be­fore the Winx verses Ginger­nuts clash is con­firmed.

Winx is not a cer­tain starter in the Emi­rates - she has to come through the Cox Plate first - but her con­nec­tions have said it is likely she will be there.

Ginger­nuts will have an ex­hi­bi­tion gal­lop fol­low­ing race two at Mata­mata on Satur­day.

RACE IM­AGES

Last year’s win­ner Un­derthe­moon­light is at­tract­ing pun­ters’ at­ten­tion for this year’s Taranaki Breed­ers.

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