Apieceoflou just needs a reasonable trip from the second row to be hard to beat at Auckland on Friday night. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.

Apieceoflou can get a piece of it again - Franco Nandor to be driven conservatively

Apieceoflou is expected to have a fitness edge on stablemate Franco Nandor when the two clash in the fifth race at Auckland on Friday night.

Apieceoflou is racing consistently, running two fourths since he made the most of his first decent trip at Auckland last month and scored his maiden win.

Two starts back he paced a fast 1:54.7 mile when fourth behind Taipo and last start, while his fourth from the one-one might initially have looked a shade disappointing, he was parked for the first 800 metres on a muddling pace.

“David (Butcher) said it was a stop-start race which didn’t suit him.” Green said. “He needs a steady trip.

“He’s not a bad horse and if he can get a good trip from the second row he should be our best shot as he’s race fit.”

Franco Nandor, on his way to winning his last start, has strengthened with a spell. PHOTO: Megan Leifting/Race Images.Franco Nandor, on his way to winning his last start, has strengthened with a spell. PHOTO: Megan Leifting/Race Images.Franco Nandor, while a last-start winner, has not raced for more than three months so is likely to be driven a little more conservatively than his usual on-pace style, Green said.

“He’s been coming down well (on times) in training and looks a bit stronger than last time in, he’s put on a lot of weight.”

Franco Nandor has had three workouts in successive weeks, running third, winning, then finishing second last Saturday when he moved up to park 600 metres out, challenged in the run home and was pipped late by Ariella on a 27.5 quarter.

“He couldn’t do the hard trips last time and got a bit tired towards the end but he’s nice and bright and so long as he doesn’t have to do too much he’s a chance.”

Green will run Franco Nandor in a removable hood on Friday revealing the horse was a bit keen last time in blinds.

Stablemate Revitalise is sitting the race out while he recovers from a foot abscess that turned into a quarter crack which required surgery.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 2: Frisco Bay

“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”

Race 2: Lenny Lincoln

“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”

Race 3: Obadiah Dragon

“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”

Whales Harness