Manson, Morrison and Marek take out the Rangiora Classic

By Mike Love

Franco Marek took out the $30,000 Robin and Geraldine Wilson Rangiora Classic yesterday in fine style for Lincoln trainer Greg Manson.

“It was a great win. I’m very proud of him. We are family-oriented. All the kids do a lot of the work, feeding and all the rest of it,” said Manson.

Franco Marek began well from his 20m handicap with driver John Morrison settling towards the rear of the field. Morrison launched the six-year-old A Rocknroll Dance gelding from the 650m, flushing out race favourite Double Time to sit three wide one back, before angling wider and zipping up centre track to win by half a head from Buckskin. Only 2.6 lengths covered first to last in a blanket finish.

“He’s such a big horse, we’ve really had to wait on him. But he’s almost the complete package now.

“He has serious speed.”

The winner of seven from 20 starts, Franco Marek will now head toward town hall company at Addington over the coming weeks.

“We will aim for the Country Championship. I think he will grow another leg on the grit.”

Beyond that, Manson is daring to dream about a certain Tuesday in November.

“I think we’ve got a thin chance. He’s matured. He’s got energy in the tank. So why not?”

Other highlights from the programme saw Granny Rose take out the When Commemoration Mile trot for trainer/driver Matthew Williamson after leading and dictating terms, trotting the mile in 2.06.1. John Morrison picked up a double behind Franco Marek and Victor Lustig, while Blair Orange drove a hat trick of winners, Love Walked In, Fitzthebill and a very emotional win with Idle Stuartia for the Austin family.


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