SIDE-BY-SIDE: The Lee Kiernan-trained French Flame (right) and ridden by Dale Evans went out hard, but held on with a strong run to win the Gladstone Regional Council BenchMark 60 Handicap.
SIDE-BY-SIDE: The Lee Kiernan-trained French Flame (right) and ridden by Dale Evans went out hard, but held on with a strong run to win the Gladstone Regional Council BenchMark 60 Handicap. Mike Richards GLA030318RACE

It's red hot finish for Gladstone-trained mare on Saturday

HORSE RACING: It was a mixed result for two of Gladstone's trainers at the Gladstone races on Saturday.

Under sunny skies and in sultry conditions, the best result was the Lee Kiernan- trained French Flame.

She maintained the rage throughout the 1000-metre Gladstone Regional Council race three to eclipse Rosie's Son by half a length, with Lushness a further four lengths back in third.

Schultz's six-year-old mare Lucifer's Angel finished second in race one and Duan Skill placed third in Barnes Electrical race five.

Kiernan said the form of six-year-old bay mare French Flame had been building and Saturday also brought an element of surprise.

"She was quite strong on Saturday and she jumped out which was a bit of a surprise and I didn't think she would cross and lead," he said.

"I thought that there were a couple of quick ones in that she might have been able of sit off the pace a bit."

Kiernan said jockey Dale Evans elected to capitalise on French Flame's strong start.

The trainer said the

mare has shown consistent form on the sand-based track at Ferguson Park and the sub one-minute times indicated that the track had pace.

"She does like the sand a bit because she has a few little niggles there with knees and joints and strains and that sort of stuff," he said.

"That's why we need to cuddle her a little bit in her track work and preparations and the first start a couple of weeks ago she ran a good second."

French Flame's previous four starts were second, fourth, third and second.

"She's a pretty honest mare and she gives you 100 per cent when she goes out to race anyhow," Kiernan said.

Ferguson Park's next race meet is Easter Saturday, March 31, and Kiernan hopes to have two other horses to run on the day: Anne From Mayo and New Kintaro.

"They need to come up a little bit to reach French Flame's ability, but hopefully they'll do all right," Kiernan said.



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