Frankuus in the Ascendant

Frankuus, a son of Frankel, won the Listed 32Red Casino Stakes (registered as the Ascendant Stakes) at Haydock Park.

Frankuus and Franny Norton win the 32 Red Casino Stakes

A winner of his maiden on debut, the two-year-old had since come up short in three attempts at this level but showed an admirable attitude to see of his challengers.

The Mark Johnston-trained colt appreciated the step up to a mile and jockey Franny Norton made plenty of use of the horse by deciding to go on despite the adverse conditions.

He was challenged strongly by another Frankel colt Cunco before eventual second Star Of Rory flashed home to try to make a fist of it.

Mark Johnston's runner had enough up his sleeve to repel both rivals though, scoring by three quarters of a length at 5/1.

Johnston's wife and assistant, Deirdre, said: "He's never run on anything like that before and he was on his own in front for a long time.

"All credit to Franny for taking the race by the scruff of the neck and getting on with it. And the horse is still a bit green.

"He's a lovely horse and hopefully will be a lovely stamp of a three-year-old. He won't run much more this year, one more run maybe.

"He really wants a mile now. We shouldn't have run over seven again last time."

Norton said: "He disappointed last time, as all his form before that was solid. He has run some smashing races even though he has been green and raw. But for whatever reason he flopped last time.

"It is typical of Mark (Johnston) – pulling it back after a bad run. But it was fantastic.

"We had a little duel from (with Cunco) two out. That softened Frankie's (Dettori) horse up and it gave the other horse the chance to have a little poke, but he stuck to it."

Read More at Sporting Life

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