Wednesday, January 5, 2011


BEL ESPRIT’s Toowoomba flyer, Canna, can lay claim to foaling down at one of the most picturesque corners of the globe, but sadly experienced – from an early age – the slings and arrows that this industry can throw at you.
Bred at Kevin and Tanith O’Brien’s Lauriston Farm at Corinella (on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula), Canna’s mum – the First Norman mare, Carnlough – died after giving birth. Henceforth, bub required some extra TLC from team Lauriston.
Whatever they did and how they did it has obviously paid dividends with the now Queensland-based Canna winning the last two of his five outings after resuming with a second in early December.
Originally campaigning in Victoria for Ricky Maund, Canna did little to come under notice and was eventually switched to the sunnier climes of Neville Saunders’ stables.
From there he’s blossomed with the initial second on Toowoomba’s cushion track followed by a rampaging five panel plus victory over 1300m on 23 December.
Canna then rounded out the year with an equally imposing romp over the 1200m on 30 December and now appears set to journey into the big smoke for his next assignment.
Canna is named after the O’Briens’ close friend and leading industry photographer, Bruno Cannatelli, a fact which the happy snapper is considerably proud of.
“Canna’s stable name was Bruno and Kevin and Tanith wanted to use that as his race name,” our intrepid paparazzi points out. “However, the name was unavailable and then they wanted to call him Cannatelli, but I didn’t fancy the tax man chasing me. So, they settled on Canna – which was my nickname playing footy.
“Take my word for it, this is a really good horse. Forget the winning margins … it was the way he won that really stands out … he’s got plenty of ability. Just like his namesake!” Bruno adds tongue in cheek.
It beggars belief that you would name a horse after someone whose declared form extends to a 50 metre dash chasing good sorts across the mounting yard, but there you go.
Weight might stop a train, but clearly not names!

The original Canna - he's in our Hall of Fame!

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