Guy Walter Stakes winner Dixie Blossoms is an early favourite for the Group One Coolmore Classic.
Francaletta achieved her Australian goal first-up in the Guy Walter Stakes, easing the pressure on retirement-bound mare’s co-trainers.
By finishing third at Group Two level at Randwick earlier this month, the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained five-year-old met the expectations of connections by adding Australian black-type to her record.
“That’s job done and whatever she does from her on in is a bonus,” Forsman said.
Far from resting in her laurels, Francaletta has the Group One Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday and next month’s Group One Queen Of The Turf (1600m) to tackle before returning home to become a broodmare.
Francaletta followed Dixie Blossoms and Raiment to the line in the Guy Walter and Forsman was upbeat about the rematch, particularly after drawing barrier two when the 19-strong field was confirmed on Wednesday.
“I think the wide barrier (nine) cost her a bit last start,” Forsman said.
“We wanted a good barrier draw, she’s got good gate speed and should be able to use it from there.”
Forsman was impressed with Francaletta’s introduction to Australian racing after claiming six of nine career starts in New Zealand.
“I thought it was great. She was entitled to finish a bit further back than what she did because they did kick up underneath her and made her work early,” he said.
“I thought she was very vulnerable fitness-wise over 1400 so she would have improved a ton with that run. We also get in well at the weights so that’s a big plus.”
Francaletta, a $10 chance with the TAB on Wednesday, carries 52kg, 5.5kg less than joint topweight Dixie Blossoms, the $6.50 favourite.
Last year’s runner-up Silent Sedition ($8.50) also lugs 57.5kg but a favourable barrier draw helps her cause.
Caulfield trainer Andrew Noblet was relieved to be allocated gate seven after copping barrier 18 before a bold run left her a short half-head shy of Heavens Above.
“That’s perfect. I’m rapt with that. It gives us a few options,” he said.