Francaletta again all class

Francaletta (Michael Coleman) stretching her unbeaten sequence to three at Hastings yesterday.

Francaletta (Michael Coleman) stretching her unbeaten sequence to three at Hastings yesterday.

Smart Cambridge mare Francaletta restored punters’ faith when she dominated her opposition in the Stella Artois 1400 at Hastings yesterday.

On a day when punters took a hiding supporting a host of favourites, Francaletta put a smile back on their faces. The four-year-old High Chaparral mare, who races in the familiar colours of Wellington businessman Lib Petagna, took her record to three wins from three starts.

Rider Michael Coleman was full of praise for the effort from Francaletta after she was posted wide for most of the journey when jumping from an outside barrier.

“She always travelled well, despite being a bit green in the straight, and is really a smart mare,” he said.

“I wasn’t worried about being a bit wide as the inside was well off and when we came around the corner I was only three-wide and in the best part of the ground.

“She is going to win a good race somewhere along the way.”

Petagna’s racing manager Bruce Perry was a relieved figure after the contest, having seen another of the JML Bloodstock team lose his unbeaten record in the previous event when Zacinto colt Ugo Foscolo could only run sixth in the Gr. 2 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas.

“We’re delighted as Michael rode her beautifully,” he said. “She’s unbeaten in three now, but so was Ugo Foscolo and we got our butts kicked there. That’s racing though so we’re pleased to get this one.

“I’ll leave any future plans up to her trainers, Andrew (Forsman) and Murray (Baker), but I think there could be a black-type option somewhere along the way for her.”

Plans for Ugo Foscolo, who started favourite in the Hawkes Bay Guineas, are also up in the air although Perry did reveal a start in the Gr. 3 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa in late October is a distinct possibility.

NZ Racing Desk