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Brando sets up tilt at 32Red Sprint Cup

7 Aug 2017

Kevin Ryan-trained five-year-old wins Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville


Brando powered to glory in France on Sunday. Picture:

Brando is set for a tilt at the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock on September 9 after landing Group One glory in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on Sunday.

The imposing Kevin Ryan-trained five-year-old travelled powerfully in the hands of Tom Eaves and was produced to challenge Signs Of Blessing for the lead in the final furlong.

Ryan’s charge saw out the six and a half furlongs well to hold off the late charge of fellow British challenger Aclaim, trained by Martyn Meade. Richard Hannon’s Tupi was a clear third but Caravaggio, the Commonwealth Cup winner, was only sixth.

Brando kicked off his campaign with victory in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket in April and although he was down the field in the Duke of York, he bounced back to finish third in last month’s July Cup.

Brando, a son of Pivotal, is now second favourite for next month’s Haydock Sprint Cup.

It is a significant success for Ryan, who stables were closed earlier in the season due to an outbreak of equine herpes and the Hambleton-based trainer is now looking forward to tilts at Champions Series glory.

“It’s a great day. We’re delighted with the horse,” he said. “He ran a good race in the July Cup and he’d tightened up since.

“He got a great ride and he was exceptional today. “We’ll look at Haydock (Sprint Cup, September 9) next.”

O’Brien said of Caravaggio: “Maybe I ran too close after Newmarket [when fourth in the July Cup].”