Day At The Track

Franco Nelson's "the best I've had him"

04:39 PM 10 Oct 2018 NZDT
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Franco Nelson,Harness racing
Franco Nelson
Club Menangle

A tragedy avoided could bring triumph to Shane Tritton's team with Franco Nelson, only months from a near-death illness, well-placed for a mighty tilt at Saturday night's Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup.

The New South Wales' trainer joined Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden on RSN 927's Gait Speed ahead of yesterday's barrier draw, when Franco Nelson drew barrier six, outside Tiger Tara and Chicago Bull but still rated by some to make a forward running.

This will be the Christian Cullen nine-year-old's 13th start for Tritton, all in 2018, a year of a significant up - his first Group 1 win in the Bohemia Crystal - and a significant down, which Tritton outlined on Gait Speed.

"He's had an interesting year since he won his Group 1 at Miracle Mile time, we gave him a little let up and brought him up for the Len Smith," Tritton said.

"We didn't know that he was racing and training with pneumonia. We didn't find this until he got crook and he actually had his intestines turned toxic and almost died."

Having been first up from a two-month spell before the July 1 Len Smith Mile, Franco Nelson wouldn't return again until the September 29 Les Chant Cup, when he was fourth, 3.8m behind Victoria Cup contender Mach Doro.

"We've taken our time, he's probably feeling the best I've ever had him - he's screaming at all the mares and is certainly on the top of his game," Tritton said.

"I'm confident that, he's obviously going to improve with racing, but if he gets the right trip I wouldn't be swapping him for any in the race.

"Someone asked me the other day what's the best horse you've ever trained. I think Nelson is a horse that can race under any conditions and if you have got to do the bullocking work he's still there at the end."

While Franco Nelson's gate 6 draw and My Alpha Rock's gate 11 draw are tricky, stablemate Gotta Go Ya Hu claimed the polemarker and is well placed.

"I'm very happy with all three of them, I think Nelson's a proven horse. I think Lauren will stick with him to drive, which says a lot. If you are going to take one into a battle you want one that's done it plenty of times before."


Trots Media

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