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Franco Nandor ready to tee up on new course on Friday for Fox and friends

Franco Nandor’s not a line-up-and-win job like some of Lincoln Farms’ previous Queensland runners but trainer Al Barnes is still predicting a bold Albion Park debut on Friday night.

The Mach Three colt has trialled well since his arrival at Barnes’ Marburg stable and from three on the gate in the fifth race, the trainer is hoping he’ll weigh in.

“I’m happy with him. There’ll be a bit of natural improvement in him but he’s ready for his first assignment.

International golfer Ryan Fox with Franco Nandor. He was gifted a 20% share in the high priced yearling by Lincoln Farms’ John Street after winning the Wairakei Invitational last year.International golfer Ryan Fox with Franco Nandor. He was gifted a 20% share in the high priced yearling by Lincoln Farms’ John Street after winning the Wairakei Invitational last year.“Hayden was rapt with his work leading up to his second trial, he really liked him, and I’m sure he’ll be competitive.”

Franco Nandor finished 22 metres behind topliner Spankem in his first trial, run in a fast 1:55.5 mile rate for 1660 metres, and showed improvement last Friday when leading all the way from seven on the gate in a 1:58.2 mile rate, home in 57.5 and 28.1.

“He trialled well and showed good gate speed,” Barnes said. “He got a little tired in the last 50 metres but he was entitled to as he did a bit of work early.

“He’s got tons of ability, whether he’s genuine enough to show it, only time will tell.”

Franco Nandor won two of his 13 starts in New Zealand for Lincoln Farms’ John and Lynne Street, top Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox, Denis Ebert, Steve MacDonald, Chris Prutton and Wayne Seebeck, and gets into a rating 50 to 55 event on Friday.

“It’s not a bad field, very even, and he should be prominent in the running - with his gate speed he’ll put himself there.

“He has to carry the old fat fella (Barnes himself) so that’s a handicap, but he’ll be competitive and whatever he does, he’ll improve on.

“I think he’ll be a bit like Bondi Shake, never far away.”

Franco Nandor will be at lucrative odds on Friday, however, as he runs into impressive last start all-the-way winner The Raconteur, drawn the pole. The Jim and Sandi Curtin-bred Art Major gelding clocked a 1:55 mile rate in his second start at Albion Park last week for Sydney trainer KerryAnn Morris.

Man Of Action runs on for fourth at Redcliffe in the best closing sectionals of the day.Man Of Action runs on for fourth at Redcliffe in the best closing sectionals of the day.Turned the corner

With the recent departure of son Hayden to work for Pete McMullen, Barnes will also drive Man Of Action in the third race, confident he’s turned the corner.

“I’m really happy with him. His last two runs have been super and he’s starting to hit the line again with good sectionals.”

At Redcliffe last Sunday Man Of Action finished a much improved fourth, coming from four deep on the marker line with a strong finish to record the fastest closing sectionals of the day, 56.64 and 28.36.

“There’s been a lot of work put into him, trying a lot of different things to get him happy and with an ounce of luck he’ll be there on Friday as he seems to want to to do it again.

“Three the second row is fine for him as that’s how I want to drive him. Hopefully I’ll be buried away three fence and he’ll run on.”

The clock shows how well Man Of Action raced last Sunday.The clock shows how well Man Of Action raced last Sunday.

Man Of Action races at 9.22pm NZ time at Albion Park on Friday night.Man Of Action races at 9.22pm NZ time at Albion Park on Friday night.Franco Nandor races at 10.22pm NZ time at Albion Park on Friday night.Franco Nandor races at 10.22pm NZ time at Albion Park on Friday night.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Cambridge

Race 3: Lincoln Lou
6.39pm

“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”

Race 5: Commander Lincoln
7.31pm

“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”

Race 8: Onyx Shard
8.55pm

“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”

Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
8.55pm

“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”

Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
8.55pm

“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”

Race 9: Frisco Bay
9.22pm

“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”

Mark Dux

Mark Dux’s comments

Saturday night at Albion Park

Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time

“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”

Whales Harness