Francaletta ticks off Australian campaign

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March 2, 2018 - 12:27 PM

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With motherhood on the horizon, Francaletta's connections will fulfil a long-held ambition when she embarks on an Australian campaign at Randwick.

The lightly raced New Zealand mare will start in the Group Two Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) ahead of a tilt at the Group One Queen Of The Turf Stakes in April.

Francaletta arrived in Sydney last week with a record of six wins and a second from nine starts and will be having her first start since October.

"She's had a couple of trials but it's never easy to say they'll just come over and measure up," he said.

"We think she's good enough. She'll probably be a bit vulnerable fitness-wise going into it but she'll improve with the run."

Forsman, who trains with renowned New Zealand horseman Murray Baker, says Francaletta's trans-Tasman trip is likely her last preparation.

"She's a stakes winner in New Zealand and the owners (JML Bloodstock) always wanted to give her go in Australia before she's a broodmare," Forsman said.

"We thought if we went to Sydney there might be a bit of give in the tracks."

Randwick was in the soft range on Friday and Forsman was hoping there was not a significant upgrade before race day given her five wins on rain-affected tracks.

"She's pretty fragile. She's had her share of niggling feet and knee issues that we've had to manage so we have to be careful about how many runs we give her on hard tracks," he said.

Baker and Forsman also have three-year-old Weather With You acclimatising ahead of a start in the $1 million Group One Randwick Guineas (1600m) on Saturday week as part of his lead-up to the Australian Derby, a race they won last year with Jon Snow.