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Frawley gelding set for emotional debut

St Kilda champion Danny Frawley‘s memory will be immortalised this week with the racetrack debut of aptly-named Captain Spud.The first-starter, which Frawley part-owned with wife Anita and close friends including Melbourne Cup trainer David Hall, of Makybe Diva fame, will debut either on Friday at Donald or Saturday at Kilmore.Captain Spud has an entry for…

St Kilda champion Danny Frawley‘s memory will be immortalised this week with the racetrack debut of aptly-named Captain Spud.

The first-starter, which Frawley part-owned with wife Anita and close friends including Melbourne Cup trainer David Hall, of Makybe Diva fame, will debut either on Friday at Donald or Saturday at Kilmore.

Captain Spud has an entry for Wednesday at Bendigo but the Peter Gelagotis-trained gelding needs multiple runners to be scratched to make the final field.

Co-trainer Manny Gelagotis said the debut would be emotional for all involved with Captain Spud.

“I just hope he has got a bloody heart as big as Danny’s,” Gelagotis said.

“If he does then he’ll be a good horse.”

Frawley‘s tragic death 12 months ago exactly next Wednesday rocked the football world when the former Saint-turned-media star’s car collided with a tree near Ballarat.

“Tragic circumstances what occurred and we live through the horse,” Gelagotis said.

“Most definitely (emotional) it’s in the back of your mind, Danny was a strong racing enthusiast and had a passion for his mates and passion for his horses.

“Pretty much had a passion for sport, that’s how he rolled.”

Gelagotis is rapt for the long-time owners and friends, who had to be patient for Captain Spud to grow into an “imposing” racehorse, now early indications suggest the gelding has a bright future.

Captain Spud was an $80,000 purchase from the 2019 Melbourne Premier Yearling sales.

The late-bloomer was educated and pre-trained at Sylvan Lodge, an equine centre in Ballarat owned and operated by Anita Frawley, before going to Gelagotis.

Captain Spud is likely to only have one or two starts this time in, with Gelagotis keen to target longer distances in the autumn.

“I feel like he’s going to be a horse that can get to a decent level,” Gelagotis said.

“He’s a green horse and does a bit wrong, but his trials have been OK and we’re really happy with him.

“He’s a lovely imposing horse by a very good sire … he’s going to make it, just a matter of when.

“I think in the autumn he could be a horse of substance and get over ground, a really nice performer at city level over 1600m and 2000m definitely.”

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