By Jonny Turner
Punters who think Canterbury mare Nemera Franco looks like a winner on paper may need to approach today’s Cromwell meeting with caution.
There is no question over the Steven McRae trained pacer’s talent heading in to the Cromwell Businesses Cup.
But there are some concerns about where Nemera Franco is at physically heading in to the race.
The speedy 5yr-old pulled up below her best and with a slow recovery rate when she finished seventh against a field of quality mares during the New Zealand Cup Carnival.
That setback is one of many health issues the Bettor’s Delight pacer had suffered during her career.
Because of that, and a scratchy final hit out leading in to today’s 1800m mobile event, McRae is slightly weary about where the horse may be at.
And it will not be until after the race until he gets the full picture on Nemera Franco’s progress.
“It is hard with the bug she has had.”
“I was pretty happy with her when we brought her down [to Cromwell] and I was pretty happy with her going to Omakau.”
“After that got called off I gave her a hit out the next day and I wasn’t overly impressed if I am being brutally honest.”
“I am not sure just where we are at, but we probably won’t know until we send her back around, really.”
Nemera Franco’s health battles make it nearly impossible to have the mare in peak condition for each race.
“She is that sort of horse, she has had a lot of health issues and she doesn’t have much of an immune system,” McRae said.
“She can sort of go from being good one day to not so much the next.”
Nemera Franco’s brilliant grass track record and her blistering speed make her undoubtedly the horse to beat in today’s event.
But if she is off her game there are several horses which could prove too slick for her.
They include stablemates Team Kiwi, Good On Ya Kiwi and Dachy.
Nemera Franco was the $1.60 favourite for today’s race ahead of Team Kiwi ($4.80), Dachy ($4.80) and Good On Ya Kiwi ($9.50) when fixed odds betting opened yesterday.
Lawrence opened the $3.90 favourite before quickly being backed in to $3.50 win odds in today’s Cromwell Cup.
The Alister Black trained pacer went an excellent race in his last start when second behind Bettathanfast in the Gore Cup.
That event was just Lawrence’s second standing start after having his first at Winton in his prior run.
The 5yr-old will again step in to new territory today when having his first start on grass.