News In Brief

NZ Racing Desk
2 August 2022

Elephant gearing up for Melbourne spring

Trainers David and Emma-Lee Browne are hoping they can emulate their success in last season’s Melbourne Spring Carnival once again this year with Elephant.

After an Australian debut win at Caulfield just shy of 12 months ago, the son of Shocking went on to run second in the Gr.2  Feehan Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley before winning the Gr.3 Sandown Stakes(1500m), giving Elephant six wins from his first seven starts. 

Elephant's spring campaign ended after two more runs while his autumn campaign was over after one run when a knee chip forced him out of the All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington. 

"He's been off the scene for a little bit now and he looks to have come back good," Emma-Lee Browne said after Elephant's jump-out on Monday. 

"We'll take it day-by-day with him. We'll see how he pulls up from this as to whether he has another jump-out or goes straight to the races. 

"He has been really exciting. He has had a few issues which has been a shame and it could have been a bit more exciting if he hadn't have had those. 

"He's a lot bigger and stronger than he was this time last year and hopefully he'll be kicking on in the spring." 

Ideally the couple would like to see Elephant line-up in this year's Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October.

"That would be quite nice, but we'll just take it day-by-day with him," Brown said. 

"We'll see how he comes through each run and whether he answers every question that we ask."

Time called on stakes winner Francesca

The curtain has come down on the racing career of the gifted Iffraaj mare Francesca.

She won five of her nine starts, including victory in her last appearance in the Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m) for trainer Andrew Forsman.

“She suffered a recurrence of an old hind leg injury and with the timing and the way things were going to happen for her we felt it was best to retire her to stud,” he said.

Bred and raced by Greg McCarthy, Francesca is out of the High Chaparral mare Triage who is a half-sister to the Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) winner Monterey Bay and to the dam of the multiple Australian Group Three winner Ayrton, who is also by Iffraaj.

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