The weekly ring around of the leading harness racing drivers in New Zealand always throws up the odd rough dividend but few have ever matched the price that Franco Theron paid at Forbury this evening (August 14th).
A recent addition to the Jonny Cox and Amber Hoffman barn after a handful of starts for John Hay, Franco Theron was the horse nominated by Jonny Cox as his best chance of a win in this weeks ring around.
For whatever reason punters ignored the tip from the trainer/driver and sent Franco Theron out the seventh favourite in an eleven horse field.
Away fifth in the 2200 meters standing start, Jonny Cox slotted him into the one out one back position after 600 meters and thats where he stayed until 500 meters from home where he was sent forward to challenge the leader Spencer Gore.
These two drew away to fight it out with Franco Theron holding a neck advantage at the line.
The $18.50 win dividend and 3.90 place dividend are as good as it gets for ring around selections.
Franco Theron paced the 2200 meters from a stand in winter conditions on a slushy track in 2:57.2 with closing sectionals of 60.3 and 29.2.
Franco Theron as the name suggests is a Nevele R product being by Badlands Hanover out of the Live Or Die mare Tarania Franco who was a full sister to the outstanding racemare Lady Toddy 1:57.7 ($176,002)
A full sister to Lady Toddy in Tellalie is the dam of Courage Tells ($118,221) and the family has had a great last twenty years in Australasia.
There was plenty of merit in Franco Theron's win tonight and it certainly won't be his last.