Day At The Track

Brown has high hopes of going one better

03:52 PM 09 May 2019 NZST
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Colin Brown,Harness racing
Gloucester Park

Ace trainer-reinsman Colin Brown has high hopes of going one better with speedy mare Eden Franco when she contests the $50,000 WASBA Breeders Stakes over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Eden Franco went within a whisker of winning the group 2 feature event for mares 12 months ago when she finished second, a half-head behind the pacemaker Maczaffair. A 4/1 chance, she started from the No. 11 barrier (No. 2 on the back line) and surged forward, three wide in the early stages, before racing in the breeze and finishing with great determination.

Now a six-year-old and the oldest runner in this year’s race, Eden Franco again will start from the No. 11 barrier and she looms large as a major player.

Eden Franco warmed up for this week’s assignment with a good sixth behind Miss Sangrial in the group 3 Race For Roses last Friday night when she was the backmarker off 50m. She was last in the field of 12 at the bell and was blocked for clear running in the final circuit.

Brown has a splendid record in the Breeders Stakes, having won the event three times --- as the trainer-driver of Sand Pebbles in 2004 and Montel in 2008 and as the driver of the Greg Bond-trained Little Big Sister in 2010.

Sand Pebbles also finished second in the Breeders Stakes in 2002 and third in 2003 and in recent years he has finished second behind Kamwood Laughter in 2012 and Alkira Jetstar in 2013.

The Breeders Stakes was first run in 1979 and the only driver with a superior record to Brown is Chris Lewis, who has been successful with Tareena Bright (1985), Armbro Lucy (1993), Twinkle Paige (1997), Meggie Dear (2001) and Sheer Rocknroll (2017).

This year Lewis will handle the up-and-coming four-year-old The War Nurse, who is trained by his wife Debra and is aiming to extend her winning sequence to five.

The War Nurse revealed sparkling early speed from barrier five to burst straight to the front in a 2130m event last Friday night. She relished the frontrunning role and sped over the final 800m in 57sec. to win by more than a length from Ona Happy Note. The War Nurse meets far stronger opposition this week, but cannot be underestimated.

Whether The War Nurse can prove the master of polemarker Miss Sangrial in the battle for the early lead is problematic. Miss Sangrial possesses excellent gate speed and Michael Grantham will be most anxious to win the race for the early lead.

Miss Sangrial, trained by Michael Brennan, is in tremendous form, with a fast-finishing win in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra and a stylish victory in the 2503m Race For Roses last Friday night when she began speedily from the 20m mark, took the lead after 600m and then took the trail behind Our Angel of Harlem with two laps to travel. When Our Angel of Harlem broke 600m from home, Grantham sent Miss Sangrial through on the inside to take up the running.

Miss Sangrial fought on with grim determination to hold out the fast-finishing pair of Beaudiene Beach Babe. Grantham has a wonderful association with the New South Wales-bred Miss Sangrial, having driven her at 30 of her 45 starts for 15 wins, five seconds, two thirds, four fourths, two fifths, one eighth and one ninth.

Rosies Ideal, trained and driven by Shane Young, ran an excellent trial for this week’s event when she galloped at the standing start and was tenth at the bell before flying home, four wide, to finish third to Miss Sangrial last week. Rosies Ideal, a winner at ten of her 26 starts, is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line and will have many admirers.

Another four-year-old in the Annie Belton-trained Lady De La Renta is capable of a bold showing, even though she is not particularly well drawn on the outside of the back line. She is racing with admirable enthusiasm and is capable of unwinding a powerful finishing burst.

Other four-year-olds - Captured Delight, Cott Beach, Our Alfie Romeo, Come Dance With Me and Veiled Secret have strong credentials in what should prove to be a keen betting race.


Ken Casellas

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