- Sire-Dam -
The imposing Brando has been placed in four Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Series sprints without managing to win one. Don’t discount him putting that right at some stage in 2019.
A reappearance win in the Abernant Stakes, followed by a second to Harry Angel in the Duke Of York Stakes, suggested he had returned in good heart in 2018 and he confirmed that when beating all bar U S Navy Flag in the Darley July Cup.
On his penultimate start he was second to The Tin Man in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock and then, on his final start, he was a fine fourth in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint at Ascot.
“We knew we had him in great shape,” trainer Kevin Ryan said before the July Cup. “It is a little bit gut-wrenching, but I’m proud of him and we’ll try and win it next year.
“It is hard to come out second best, but someone has to come out second best. It is a long year and I’m sure he’ll find his day in the sun.”
He had also been third in the 2017 renewal, having also filled that position in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint at Ascot on Champions Day in 2016.
At Ascot, the gelding had been stepping up in class following a fine victory in the Ayr Gold Cup off a mark of 110 and connections were very pleased following another great run by the son of Pivotal.
The four-year-old finished a short-head behind the 50/1 runner-up Growl, who was, in turn, a length behind the 13/2 winner The Tin Man and jockey Tom Eaves felt Brando could have been even closer had the ground been a little bit softer.
He began his 2017 campaign with victory in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket in April. He started favourite for the Duke of York Stakes at York next time on the strength but bled during the race and trailed home last.
Brando put that blip firmly behind him when finishing a keeping-on third to Harry Angel in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket, and followed that with a first Group 1 victory in the Larc Prix Maurice de Gheest.
He also ran a cracker in the 2019 edition of the Larc Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, going down by a neck to Advertise before finishing an honourable fourth in the 2019 Betfair Sprint Cup as well as the latest edition of the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes.
Brando had been back in the winner’s enclosure earlier in the year at Hamilton.