Horses To Follow » Brando


Brando put up a top notch performance in finishing third behind Harry Angel and Limato in the July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday.

Held up by Tom Eaves through the early stages of the race, the early pace was not strong, which suited the prominent racers and militated against the hold-up horses. Ninth of the 10 runners with three furlongs to run, Brando still travelled well to the two-furlong pole as his rider looked for a gap. Asked for his effort in the run to the furlong marker, he picked up well, and he ran on strongly all the way to the line in the centre to take third place behind Harry Angel and Limato, just nutting Caravaggio for that position.

It was a super performance from Kevin Ryan’s horse, to get as close as he did from the rear. Harry Angel disputed the lead from early, and Limato raced prominently. Caravaggio was disadvantaged by racing toward the rear, but Brando was about a length behind Caravaggio through the early stages of the race, and he finished a short head in front of him. Timeform have Brando down as running the last three furlongs in 33.1 seconds, which is the fastest time in their entire sectionals archive on the July Course. That is obviously seriously impressive.

Brando’s run here may be under-rated now, because he was a 28/1 shot, but you can easily argue that he should not have been a 28/1 shot. True, he was desperately disappointing on his previous run, when he finished 12th of 12 in the Duke of York Stakes, but he broke a blood vessel that day, so you can easily forgive him that, and he has never been at his best at York anyway. His is zero for five on the Knavesmire, and he has finished ninth and 12th respectively in two runs in Group races there.

He is good at Ayr and Ascot and Sandown and obviously at Newmarket, and he is probably at his best when there is at least a little bit of cut in the ground. His record before that broken blood vessel in the Duke of York Stakes on ground softer than good read 4225112121. He will be of interest wherever he goes next, he could still be under-rated, and that interest will be increased when he next races on easy ground. It should be worthwhile keeping him in mind for the Haydock Sprint Cup or the British Champions Sprint, races for which the ground can often come up on the soft side.

15th July 2017