Day At The Track

Veteran trainer holds high hopes for 'Hec'

10:01 AM 06 Feb 2019 NZDT
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Ronald Francis
Ringtripleowe with trainer Ronald Francis and reinsman Alex Ashwood winning at Melton in 2015

Experienced Victorian harness racing trainer Ron Francis has a sneaky feeling that three-year-old filly Hecs Elect (Auckland Reactor-Shes Elegant (Safely Kept) could just be the horse he’s long been looking for. Hecs Elect became Auckland Reactor's 73rd individual winner, with his oldest crop just four-year-olds.

Francis, based at Woodstock, near Yan Yean, has been a hobby trainer pottering around with a small team for more than 40 years.

During that time, he has had his fair amount of success with such pacers as Tibur Power (who finished with a wonderful record of 17 wins for $110,000); the injury-plagued Pacesetter (a winner of 12 races, eight of these at the old Victorian Moonee Valley headquarters); Ringtripleowe had 13 wins and 60 placings for $94,000 and Somedreamsomewhere (12 wins, 23 placings for nearly $75,000).

“We do think Hecs Elect has the potential to perhaps be our best horse,” Francis said.

“She is very strong and can peel off some excitingly quick quarters.”

And Hecs Elect gave an exhilarating display of her capabilities on Monday night at Tabcorp Park Melton, with a last-to-first win in the Melton Toyota 3yo pace.

After being eased out from her front barrier alley by master reinsman Gavin Lang, the filly sat at the rear before being asked for an effort going down the back straight for the final time.

The Auckland Reactor-sired youngster dashed around three wide to be outside the leader and race favorite Allspark on the final turn.

Given a bit of rein, Hecs Elect sprinted nicely to score from Final Chapter by 10.5m, with Allspark ($1.70 fav) a further 3.2m back in third spot in a handy 1.56-3 mile rate.

To watch the video replay of this race click on this link.

While pleased by the win, Francis has been patient in waiting for his horse to show her true ability.

“She is the quickest pacer I’ve had over the years.  I decided a while ago in a fast work hit-out to let her quicken up each quarter and the times she was doing were just crazy,” he said.

“We’ve had a few glitches along the way as she kept growing and couldn’t handle her speed and then she started tossing her head all over the place.

“I’m lucky I’ve got some experienced people in Gavin Lang and Greg Sugars who have driven her, to give me the best feedback and advice.”

Francis said the first five times Hecs Elect faced the starter, she was racing in the top-class group.

“At her latest effort she was probably in a lower division of her class, but I have to agree with Gavin who said afterwards that there are just no easy races now,” he said.

Hecs Elect was purchased for only $7000 at the APG sales.  Her owners previously enjoyed racing her half-sister Somedreamsomewhere (now in foal to Yankee Rockstar), and from all indications, they are in for some more fun.

Also, on the breeding side, Hecs Elect has a half-brother in Tightrope who posted 22 wins and 50 placings from 196 starts for $196,000.

“We haven’t any big plans in mind at the moment and she will probably go around next week at Cranbourne. Hopefully she brings her best game along again.”

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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