Speed Easy

Franny wins R100 000 African Holly Handicap in a canter

Speed Easy. Franny (Brandon Lerena) cruises in to win the R100 000 African Holly Handicap

The pacy Trippi filly Franny ran her nine male rivals ragged with a superb display of relentless speed when winning Sunday’s African Holly Handicap over 1000m at Clairwood  unextended.

It takes a brave man to back a 3yo filly against proven older male campaigners, but punters were spot on as the flying  Franny was never threatened and registered an impressive win at 18-10 in the non black type feature.

The likes of recent Joburg Merchants third-placer Coffee Sheik and the Golden Loom winner Showmetheway, who was going for a sixth win in a row, were not enough to scare off the Franny brigade who came in droves for the Highlands Stud-bred Magnolia winner – and they never had a moment of nerves. Gavin Van Zyl had her turned out to the minute, and looking a million dollars.

Brandon Lerena threw a leg over the smart filly for a second time and he rode a confident race by bouncing her smartly and letting her stride ahead of Coffee Sheik and Kings Gold, with Guantanamera and Showmetheway further back.At the 400m marker Lerena upped the ante and Franny increased her lead to two lengths as Sean Cormack got serious aboard Coffee Sheik, who looked for a moment as if he might challenge.But despite drifting from the inside  to the middle outside, Franny continued to gallop powerfully and she drew off to win with her ears pricked.

Eyes Right! Brandon Lerena and Gavin Van Zyl are all smiles as Franny returns after her little African Holly workout

Franny beat Coffee Sheik by 2,75 lengths in a time of 56, 06 secs, with the Tarry longshot Cool Spender sneaking into third at 40-1, just ahead of Guantanamera.

The winner races in the famous yellow and black Oppenheimer silks.

Mark Dixon’s 3-1 second favourite Showmetheway, who was going for a sixth straight win, ran a disappointing  last .The Stipes Report may explain this below par effort.

Lerena and Van Zyl had partnered earlier to win the fourth race in the same famous silks with the filly Red Book.

Franny is now a winner of 4 of her 7 starts for 3 places and  R507 325 in stake earnings. She cost R275 000 as a yearling.

She was bred by Highlands Stud and is a daughter of Drakenstein’s End Sweep stallion Trippi, out of the four-time winning National Assembly mare, Scented Samantha.

Already a filly with an impressive record, she looks to be maturing nicely and should get even better into her 3yo season.

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