Franco Indie "ready" for Methven Cup

By Jonny Turner

Franco Indie is ready to step back up to the big leagues, starting with Sunday's Group 3 Methven Cup.

The Mark and Nathan Purdon trained pacer comes into the 3000m staying feature third up following a decent spell.

Franco Indie produced a handy second first up before smashing the clock in his next second placing, speeding home in a sensation 25.8sec last 400 and being unlucky in the process.

With those two runs under his belt, Nathan Purdon feels the timing is right for Franco Indie to show his best in a good race like the Methven Cup.

“He had a long time off the scene, but he is lucky because usually a horse of his calibre would have to come straight back into racing at the top level,” Purdon said.

“But he has been able to dip his toes back in in two very suitable races.”

“That has allowed him to build his fitness up and now he is ready to take on a race like this.”

Franco Indie was speeding home in his last start second behind the defending Methven Cup champion in Smiffys Terror.

Most importantly, the four-year-old made a good beginning in what was his first standing start.

Purdon admitted he wasn’t expecting Franco Indie to begin so well.

“He is a very laid back type of horse, to the extent that when he did step away so well, it was a little bit of a surprise,” Purdon said.

“If he can keep stepping away like that it would be ideal.”

Smiffys Terror and his stablemate Bach look of the two biggest threats to Franco Indie.

Smiffys Terror got a timely confidence boost when winning at Addington last week, his first victory since his 2022 Methven Cup win.

Bach stepped up in grade in the recent Canterbury Classic, running a very creditable and unlucky sixth in the event

Blair Orange takes the reins behind Franco Indie who was rated the $4.50 Methven Cup favourite before being backed into $3.30.

Bach also took early support, moving from $6.50 into $5 second favouritism.

Orange also combines with the Mark and Nathan Purdon trained first starter Eyeliner.

Unusually for a Purdon trained first starter, Eyeliner opened at a juicy $5 price.

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