Franco Marek top chance in today's Amberley Cup

By Jonny Turner

John Morrison will have plenty of options in front of him when he teams up with Franco Marek in the Rangiora Equine Services Amberley Cup on Monday (4.17pm).

The Greg Manson trained pacer takes on a very competitive country cup line up in the Amberley Club’s annual feature at Rangiora.

Though the Rangiora grass circuit is known as a track that most horses have to be handy on, punters shouldn’t panic if they see Franco Marek slightly off the pace.

Driven on the speed in many of his wins, the pacer has shown a great turn of foot when being driven for one run in his last two starts.

“It depends how we go away, but I am not too worried nowadays because has come to the way of being driven for being one run,” Morrison said.

“Last time he was at Rangiora he was back in the field and blew over them and run second.”

“We will probably be aiming for one run at them first up, anyway.”

Franco Marek hasn’t been seen publicly since sweeping past his rivals to win the Motukarara Christmas Cup in late December.

There is confidence in the Manson camp that the horse is forward enough to run a big race on Monday.

“Greg has usually got them pretty on-song, he has got pretty good tracks to work on like Motukarara,” Morrison said.

“He seems pretty happy with him and his confidence levels are high, which is good.”

Franco Marek opened the favourite for the Amberley Cup, initially at $3.30 before moving into $2.30.

Lumen Caeli ($5.50) and Dashing Major ($6) have been rated his biggest dangers.

John Morrison combines with two handy chances from the Dean Taylor barn on Amberley Cup Day.

Mighty Logan heads into race 1 following a handy fresh-up third at Methven.

“He is a nice enough horse, I think he will be alright one day.”

“He went a nice enough race first up and he is only going to get better.”

Morrison and Taylor also combine with the consistent Harry Belafonte in race 2.

“He is going good and doing things right, he is getting close to a win at some stage.”

Harry Belafonte comes into Monday’s meeting on the back of a tidy fourth at Methven.

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