Swedish Franco Enhances Family
8th December 2021
Steven McRae’s runner Swedish Franco added to her family legacy when she won her sixth race at Oamaru today.
The four year old Bettor’s Delight mare was driven out of the gate by Gemma Thornley, settling three back on the fence. On straightening, the gaps opened and Swedish Franco let down nicely to win by two lengths with the Robert and Jenna Dunn pair of A Better Act and Jimmy Arma running second and third.
The win was the mare’s fourth from as many starts on the grass.
“I always thought she’d win a couple of races and make a good broodmare but every time we step her up she seems to clear and some,” McRae said.
Swedish Franco is out of the Western Ideal mare San Rafaella which won ten races including three in Australia. She’s been very good at stud. Her first foal Selena Franco won four races, while second foal Franco Santino won nine.
The mare’s rising three year old Sade Franco (Bettor’s Delight) has been leased out by Spreydon Lodge while her next foal, a colt by Captaintreacherous named Franco Sinatra is part owned by Southland breeder Brendon Fahy and son Nigel.
San Rafaella also has a Captaintreacherous colt at next year’s National Yearling Sales in Christchurch.
“He’s a lovely colt who I’ve had a bit to do with. He’s just a nice type. Not too big or small. I think he’ll sell well. The mare does leave nice athletic types.”
Swedish Franco is part owned by The Organ Donations Save Lives Syndicate along with Spreydon Lodge.
The syndicate is run by Todd Butts and includes former greyhound trainer Aaron Coull.
“Aaron got very sick with a heart issue and was lucky to be saved by a donor. They named the syndicate just to raise awareness for the cause. Aaron is still alive eleven or twelve years later. He gets a real buzz out of being in the syndicate.”
Coull trained quality greyhound Cool Tee Jay which won thirty seven races from just fifty seven starts.
The syndicate also owns the smart two-year old pacing filly Lady Of The Light which won her first five races before tasting defeat for the first time last Friday night.
“They’re all grass root people, no highflyers, who appreciate the game. There’s a few Southlanders in the syndicate including Randall and Christine Garthwaite. Christine used to teach me back in Primary School.”
So what’s next for Swedish Franco whose in foal to Always B Miki?
“She’s either going to go to the Westport Cup or she might go the Roxburgh Cup then the Cromwell Cup. It’s probably time for her to tell us how good she is.”
Thornley works for McRae and six of her thirteen winners have been for the stable.
“She’s early in her career. She’s a good kid and very easy to deal with and listens to what you say.”