Franco Indie wound up for a new campaign in stylish fashion at Rangiora on Wednesday and soon be back racing in the long term quest of the Country Cups Final in May.

“He’ll be racing around here.After his last one (the Central Otago Cup Group Three, known as the Ranfurly Handicap) he has freshened  up well and it is the obvious race to aim for with such a good stake”

Franco Indie was close to unbeaten at two trained first by Hayden Cullen and later with Mark in partnership.His wins included the Sires Stakes Finala.The sky  was the limit at that stage for the Alabar Syndicate who race him. But the combination of bad luck and the presence of Akuta stifled his progress. He was put aside after a lacklustre seventh to Akuta in the Sires Stakes 3yo Final.

Since resuming in September after a lengthy spell he has been a good money spinner for his connections. After a battling run in the Methven Cup he was realigned at lesser targets which led to a smart win on New Zealand Cup day; a second in the Geraldine Cup then a victory in the Akaroa Cup before his Central Otago win.

Horses with a rating less than 85 in the first heat are eligible for the series final at Addington over 3200.

Carrero Rapido ran second to Franco Indie and is also coming up well

Another major player for Nathan at the trials was High Energy who has been aimed at a Special Handicap Trot at the Northern Southland meeting next Saturday.

“She had had a wee setback but we are still hoping she will get there.She went nicely in her trial which is a promising sign. I have been happy with her work overall”

Also headed for Invercargill are two year olds in search of the Kindergarten Stakes a race in which the stable has a remarkable record.

Since 2013 when Bill and Jean Feiss won with Messini,one of their early stars in New Zealand, the Purdon stable has only been beaten once in the race and that was in 2017 having won every renewal since.Akuta , Don’t Stop Dreaming ,and Vessem have taken the last three.When the only “interloper” -the Robert Dunn-trained The Brooklyn Brawler won in 2017- The Devil’s Own, a subsequent dual Group One winner for All Stars,was second.

Midnight Miki and Part Central ran a relatively leisurely quinella in a qualifier probably en route further south and Louie Massimo, Jean Feiss’s juvenile contender to date was close up. Rubira,The Con Artist (another Feiss runner on the day) and Demon Blue also got through their paces well.

The Purdon Racing two year olds were smaller in number for this season Nathan notes.

” Some years ago we might have had 14,15 going through their paces where this time there were seven”

Doubtless they will still make their mark.




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