Horses To Follow » Brazos


Brazos put up a nice performance to win the 1m 6f handicap. Settled in fourth place by Daniel Redmond through the early stages of the race, up on the outside of Gustavus Vassa, John Murphy’s horse travelled nicely down the back straight, and he travelled well into the home straight. He and Gustavus Vassa moved up to dispute the lead on the run to the 2f marker and, while it looked as if he wasn’t travelling as well as Willie Mullins’ horse at that point, he picked up well for pressure. He hit the front a furlong and a half out and quickly went about 3l clear of his field in an impressive and ultimately race-winning move. Gustavus Vassa’s stable companion Exchange Rate mounted a spirited effort and almost reeled him in, but he had enough in reserve to get home by a head.

This was probably a career-best from Brazos in his first-time blinkers. The form is solid. There wasn’t much between Gustavus Vassa and Saturday’s Ebor third Sea The Lion on the two occasions on which they met, and Exchange Rate is a bumper winner, a novice hurdle winner and a maiden winner on the flat who has the potential to progress. Brazos himself shaped like a promising horse last year as a three-year-old, his first season to race. He won his maiden on his second attempt over 12f on heavy ground at Listowel in September, and he followed up by finishing a close-up seventh in the November Handicap at Naas off a mark of 90. A winner on his second run this season at Killarney, he was well beaten in the big Connacht Hotel amateur riders’ race at the Galway Festival, but he seemed to improve for the fitting of headgear on Thursday. The handicapper raised him by 6lb to a mark of 92, but he has the potential to progress by at least that magnitude, and he won’t be inconvenienced by soft ground.

Killarney, 23rd August 2018