Brett Cusdin's phone has been ringing off the hook, but he is
not quite ready to part with Franco Nattai. Cusdin (30), of
Christchurch, has the Courage Under Fire gelding all set for
Motukarara tomorrow after the 4yr-old produced a eye-catching
run for second at Addington on January 18.
The offers have been flooding in for the well-bred Franco
Nattai, but Cusdin has an important milestone to reach before
he contemplates parting with the pacer - his first training
''I've had quite a few people ringing up wanting to buy him.
Everyone's been pretty keen on him,'' Cusdin said.
''I've said I'm not selling him until I do that [win] and
then we'll just go from there.''
Cusdin works Franco Nattai during his lunch break at his
regular job as a stable hand at Mark Purdon's All Stars
Stables in Rolleston and he has soaked up as much knowledge
as he can from Purdon.
''He's been the best to learn off,'' Cusdin said. He found
the trail easily with Franco Nattai at Addington last week
but his hopes of his first training success unravelled when
leader Ima Jaymar compounded badly, dragging Franco Nattai
back behind him. Once Cusdin got Franco Nattai out into clear
air, he was half a second quicker than the last 400m of 29sec
set off the front.
His searing sprint has not dulled the horse this week.
''He looks fantastic at the moment,'' Cusdin said.
''He's just a lovely horse to work with. He's nice and quiet
and easy to drive.
''I've seen the amount of horses at Mark's and I know how
hard nice horses are to come by, so it's been a bit of a hard
decision thinking about it [selling him].''
The main danger to Franco Nattai in the $7500 1-win mobile
pace is likely to come from Itsa Seelster who is looking for
his third straight win, and The Brigadier, who has won twice
from three starts.