Frankel colt General Franco, the highest priced yearling at the 2018 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, looks set for a top career. The R4-million purchase made a thrilling 1000m debut at Kenilworth on Tuesday, beating his nearest rival by 3.50-lengths, with the third horse a similar distance away and the rest unsighted.
Trainer Justin Snaith expected the minimum dash to be too sharp for General Franco, but he and punters were pleasantly rewarded when the handsome chestnut quickened away beautifully with 300m to run, showing his class.
Jockey Richard Fourie commented: “He surprised me. It’s not easy to win first time and over a distance short of what should be his best. I’d love to see him over the mile. He’s a lovely horse who is going places.”
Jonathan Snaith, who saddled General Franco on Justin’s behalf, said that the colt had gone shin-sore prior to his planned debut in the Listed baby feature on Met day. “He shows good speed at home but he is a mile to 2000m horse.”
Bred by Klawervlei and bought by John Freeman, General Franco is from Pale Moon Rising (IRE), a mare by Kingmambo who has produced two winners by Galileo in the UK.
General Franco races for Jack Mitchell and his daughter Nancy Hossack and reports have it that he’ll be put away for several months to mature. He may only be seen in action again in the Cape Summer, when the Gr1 Cape Guineas will be his target.