Day At The Track

Franco Nelson on track for NZ Cup

09:33 AM 10 Sep 2015 NZST
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Franco Nelson
Franco Nelson - Looks to have come back well in his preparation for this years NZ Cup

Michael House is optimistic Franco Nelson is on right on track for November 10.

The Christian Cullen 6-year-old made his first public appearance for House at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday since being transferred from the Robert Dunn stable.

Franco Nelson is injury free after having surgery three months ago to remove a bone chip from a back leg and House is hoping he can go one better than his second behind Adore Me in the New Zealand Trotting Cup last year.

After his heroics during Cup Week, when he also ran third in the Group I New Zealand free-for-all, Franco Nelson was plagued by issues.

He has not won a race since using his blinding sprint to win the 4-year-old Emerald back in May 2014.

Franco Nelson pinged away from the tapes at Rangiora and House was leading heading into the first bend despite his 30m handicap.

"He's a very fast horse saved for one run, he's not a leader, but he started that good I didn't have a choice," House said.

House kept him under a strong hold in the final 150m to finish fourth in a more than satisfactory return.

"It's not ideal to have other horses run past you, but I wasn't going to knock him around in his first run back," he said.

House was happy with the hit out and said Franco Nelson would return to the trials at Addington on Monday, but a comeback race had not yet been decided.

"He's only about 80 per cent fit but there is plenty of time and I think we're in a good place," House said.

Anthony Butt will return home from Victoria to drive Franco Nelson in the cup.

Saveapatrol came up the passing lane after trailing Franco Nelson to beat a gutsy No Doctor Needed by a nose, with Tiger Tara flying home late for third a further length back.

No Doctor Needed sat parked for most of the last half mile and was still making ground on Saveapatrol at the post.

Saveapatrol paced the 2600m in 3-24.9 with a mile rate of 2-06.8 and closing sectionals of 55.5 and 26.9.

Mat Kermeen

Reproduced with the permission of Stuff NZ - Check site here


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