Day At The Track

Santino gets the perfect trip

10:39 AM 12 Aug 2018 NZST
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Franco Santino,Harness racing
Franco Santino and Nathan Williamson (6) getting the better of a game Benio Ben (3)
Photo Bruce Stewart

“Like I said to you during the week it’s the only way he could have won today,” said Nathan Williamson after Franco Santino won the Heartland Hotel Mobile Pace at Gore.

It couldn’t have panned out better, with a fresh Benio Ben and driver Dexter Dunn setting a very solid clip in front.

Dunn had his charge humming with 400 metres to run and Franco Santino was off the speed by seven lengths.

“They went fast up front and got (they) tired in the straight and they came back to me.”

The winning margin was half a length with Franco Huntington up close in third, three quarters of a length back. 

The time was a respectable 2-42.5 on a track that had a new sand surface put down during the week.

“There’s plenty of nice races coming up with the Cup races around Christmas time. He’s not too bad off in the ratings being 78 after today. We’ll try and pick up a junior drivers race. He’s going to keep working through the grades hopefully.”

With the Cup races on the radar Williamson was asked about Franco Santino’s standing start ability.

“He’s only had one start from the stand which he won at Oamaru. He was safe away. He's so sensible and doesn’t have any hype or get wound up. Starting off those handicaps sometimes can be quite good. You can go in and be away and it gives them good confidence.”

The win today was the entire's fifth in only nine starts. He’s owned by Riverton fisherman Neville Cleaver.

Franco Santino, Nathan Williamson, Oliver Kite and Neville Cleaver - Photo Bruce Stewart.


Bruce Stewart

Southland Harness Racing

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