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Postponement puts Francaletta on back foot

The postponement of last week’s Te Teko trials has put smart Cambridge mare Francaletta (High Chaparral) on the back foot going into Saturday’s Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa.

But trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman are hoping the class of the High Chaparral mare can overcome the disadvantage.

“She really needed that trial last week,” Forsman said. “She’s a gross mare and we’re just hoping she has done enough.

“She hasn’t had a trial, but she had a jumpout last Friday and she had a trip away with some of our other horses to Taupo a couple of weeks ago for a gallop. That all helped.”

Francaletta hasn’t raced since being unplaced in the Gr.1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill last March, a fortnight after she made an encouraging Australian debut when third to Dixie Blossoms in the Gr.2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.

She was unbeaten in her first four starts and had won six of nine starts before the Australian trip, including the Gr.3 Taranaki Breeders Stakes (1400m) before finishing second to Sensible Princess in the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe.

Michael Coleman has ridden Francaletta in all bar one of her New Zealand starts and he will be reunited with her on Saturday.

Francaletta was purchased by bloodstock agent Bruce Perry for A$65,000 when sold through Trelawney's 2014 Inglis Easter draft on behalf of Raffles Dancers. -NZ Racing Desk