Franco Indie heads dream result for Spreydon Lodge

By Jonny Turner

A stunning display of speed and stamina from Franco Indie delivered the perfect result for Spreydon Lodge in the Group 1 Sires Stakes Final on New Zealand Cup Day.

The Mark Purdon and Hayden Cullen trained pacer shrugged off sitting parked throughout the first age-restricted Group One of the harness racing season as he and his stablemate Franco Mac left their rivals chasing their dust.

The victory not only continued an incredible day out for the Purdon-Cullen stable, it produced a perfect result for breeders Spreydon Lodge and its own stablemate, Nevele R Stud.

Franco Indie and Franco Mac have never been far from each other throughout their lives having been bred and raised at Spreydon Lodge, before both being sold as yearlings and going to at the All Stars stable.

Their journey to a one-two finish in a Group One feature on New Zealand Cup Day was something Spreydon Lodge and Nevele R Stud general manager Ged Moar almost couldn’t believe.

“It is a huge thrill, I can’t believe it, it doesn’t happen very often that they were both in the same yearling sale, we bred them and the mares and it is just a great thrill to get a Group One quinella on a very special day.”

Franco Indie’s journey towards Group One glory under the incredible guidance of the All Stars stable started with Mooar asking Mark Purdon to find him some stock of Nevele

Stud’s exciting stallion Always B Miki to race, with a view to giving the sire’s career a kickalong.

The result could not have been better for Nevele R Stud and Alabar, who stand Always B Miki and race Franco Indie together.

Franco Indie is the stallion’s first Group One winner in New Zealand and third in Australasia.

“We asked Mark and Natalie to go to the sales and buy a couple of colts by Always B Miki.”

“This fellow just happened to be in Spreydon Lodge’s draft.”

“That was great, so Nevele R retained a share in him, Alabar took a share in him and the rest is shared among a lot of people, including a lot of people from the Chase Auckland syndicate.”

“It is great to share this victory with a lot of people.”

Purdon carried the same Alabar silks to victory in his win in the Sires Stakes Final with Chase Auckland in 2017.

Franco’s Indie’s win continued an incredible domination of the Group One feature by Mark Purdon.

Purdon has trained the last eight winners of the race in Have Faith In Me, Lazarus, Ultimate Machete, Chase Auckland, Ultimate Sniper, One Change, It’s All About Faith and now Franco Indie.

This year’s win came in partnership with Hayden Cullen with the prior seven in partnership with Natalie Rasmussen.

Spreydon Lodge has a proud history of its own in the Sires Stakes Final.


Franco Indie joins fellow Francos, Franco Enforce (1996), Franco Heir (2000) and Franco Nelson as winners of the feature.

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