Fighting-fit Franfield fancied
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
FRANFIELD, who finished fourth in both the Superstakes and Gold Cup at the back end of last season, should rebound in today's three-year-old and up overnight-allowance race over a mile to be contested by nine starters at Caymanas Park.
Trained by Richard Azan for champion owners Elite Bloodstock Limited, the four-year-old colt by Traditional out of the Royal Minister mare Supa Lei makes his seasonal debut well and truly prepared.
On the strength of his fast-finishing fourth (beaten 31/2 lengths) to POTCHEEN in the December 6 Gold Cup over 1400 metres, will not be easily denied with champion jockey Dane Nelson again in the saddle.
Taken to task at exercise in preparation for this race, FRANFIELD has been turning in bullet work after bullet work, catching the eye last Sunday morning when galloping 51/2 furlongs in 1:07.0 by 1:01.1.
As a three-year-old last season, FRANFIELD won five races from 12 starts while finishing second on three occasions. His best performance was turned in over this trip on October 4, slamming subsequent winner ROYAL VIBES by 31/2 lengths, covering the mile in a fast 1:38.4 with Nelson aboard.
Although standing out in present company, FRANFIELD can look to the back-to-form RED FLAG (knocking at the door), HOVER CRAFT, and especially, MILITARY MOVE, to provide worthwhile opposition.
The Lawrence Freemantle-trained MILITARY MOVE finished well beaten behind grade-one campaigner PERFECT NEIGHBOUR in the Harry Jackson Memorial Cup last Boxing Day, but is a proven campaigner at the overnight-allowance level, notching his last win over 2000 metres last September in the good time of 2:08.2 with Hall of Fame jockey Winston 'Fanna' Griffiths aboard.
Griffiths renews his association with MILITARY MOVE (working fairly well) and the six-year-old gelding looks the principal danger to FRANFIELD, who can lead or come from behind if the situation demands with 56.0kg.
I also like EXCLUSIVE PRINCE, with Nelson aboard, to win the Millard Ziadie Cup over 1100 metres ahead of FRANKENSTORM; SASSY SLEW, under leading all-time jockey Griffiths, to go one better in the fourth for maiden three-year-old fillies; PECKARONI to do likewise in the sixth; and down-in-class PRINCESS SALLEMA in the ninth for $180,000 claimers.