Franco Indie (NZ) Starts 2024 in Explosive Style

5 January 2024

Franco Indie (NZ) pictured as a yearling. 

Franco Indie (NZ) (Always B Miki) started 2024 on the perfect note with his explosive victory in the $35,000 Group Three Central Otago Cup (2000m) at Omakau on Tuesday.

The NZB Standardbred graduate added the first black-type harness race of the new year to his outstanding resume when spearing along the inner to score for driver Blair Orange.

Franco Indie was purchased for $35,000 by breeding powerhouses Alabar and Nevele R Stud at the 2020 National Yearling Sale at Christchurch when he was offered by breeder-vendors Spreydon Lodge.

Franco Indie has reached Group One winning heights and compiled an outstanding record for the two studs, who race the pacer with a wider group of owners.

Those owners came from far and wide to watch their star pacer in the Central Otago Cup and they got to see all of the five-year-old’s class.

“You can tell from our syndicate people how much it meant to them – they’ve come from Palmerston North and right down to Invercargill,” Alabar’s Ivan Behrnes said.

“He has been sitting off 30m over 3200m on grass in his last two starts and he has finally got a chance to get off the front and get his legs going on the all-weather track.”

“I think he really appreciated it and we were tickled pink.”

Blair Orange used Franco Indie’s gatespeed to cross down to the markers early in the Central Otago Cup.

After taking a trail behind One Change (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) and driver Brent Barclay, Orange decided against retaking the lead.

That decision paid explosive dividends when Franco Indie charged along the inner to win.

“I was just in two minds whether to come back around One Change, but I felt we had done enough early,” Orange said.

“We stayed where we were and luckily for us Brent stayed in front and it was really good.”

Fellow NZB Standardbred graduate Ohoka Connor (NZ) (Sunshine Beach) started 2024 on a positive note when closing off strongly to run third behind Franco Indie.

Ohoka Connor was purchased by Brett Gray for $17,500 when he was offered among the Millwood Farm draft at the 2021 National Yearling Sale at Christchurch.