LOCAL HERO: Lee Kiernan-trained French Flame finishes second in the Barnes Electrical Race 3 at Gladstone Turf Club on Cox Plate Day.
LOCAL HERO: Lee Kiernan-trained French Flame finishes second in the Barnes Electrical Race 3 at Gladstone Turf Club on Cox Plate Day. Matt Taylor GLA281017RACE

French Flame was pipped at the post

HORSE RACING: Lee Kiernan held high the Gladstone flag after his French Flame mare finished second race three of Saturday's Cox Plate Day at Ferguson Park.

Gladstone co-owner and trainer Kiernan was confident pre-race that his six-year-old bay mare would finish high in the 1000-metre Barnes Electrical.

French Flame finished one-length behind chestnut mare Eldiym with Confident Star rounding out the top three.

"It was a good run, but the winner was too slick,” Kiernan said.

"French Flame was making a good finish, but she sort of got caught up on the fence where the track was at its most heaviest for about 50-metres.”

Kiernan added that Rockhampton jockey Dale Evans, who rode French Flame, felt the effects of a virus.

"He did not feel 100 per cent and he was not at his best, but that's certainly no the reason why she did not win.

"All in all she ran a good race.”

Kiernan, who is also co-owner of French Flame with his wife Brenda along with Gladstone Turf Club president David Weinert and wife Judy, is confident he will have two other horses to run on Melbourne Cup Day.

"The longer 1194m distance will suit French Flame more and Rowdy Rousey will also run,” Kiernan said.

The trainer is hopeful that gelding Varnamo will come up after issues with fitting a shoes on his back foot prior to the Cox Plate Race Day.

Kiernan said he would find out more about the gelding's chances late yesterday.

Fellow Gladstone trainer Denis Schultz' horses That Pretty Girl and Logical Outcome were scratchings prior to races one and five.

Gladstone Turf Club president David Weinert said while he was unsure of the crowd, he said numbers could have exceeded 2000.

"It's a long time since I have seen a crowd like that,” he said.

"The weather was great and we have not had a race in a while and Cox Plate is always the biggest day of the year for us.”

Ferguson Park will next host a Melbourne Cup meet on Tuesday week with racing to start from 10am and the fifth and final race from 12pm to allow the jockeys to get to Rockhampton for afternoon commitments.



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