Horses To Follow » Brazil


Brazil did well to win the Fred Winter Hurdle on Tuesday. Starting off in the front rank, he was fairly badly hampered at the second flight. Padraig Roche’s horse was squeezed out of it as Gaelic Warrior jumped to his right along the inside, and he was shuffled back to seventh or eighth, losing momentum and losing a nice position. He was wide around the turn away from the stands then, and he had to do a fair bit of running to recover his position, wider than ideal. They weren’t going a great pace, so he was able to move up again into second place on the outside of Gaelic Warrior. He wasn’t helped by the fact that the leader was jumping to his right, into his path on occasion, and he didn’t travel as well as the favourite on the run from the third last flight, but he stuck to his task admirably. He was a clear second as they rounded the home turn, two lengths behind the leader, but he jumped the final flight well, and he stayed on determinedly up the run-in for Mark Walsh, forging on to get home by a short head from the well-backed favourite.

It was a game performance by JP McManus’ horse, he did well to win, to beat a well-backed and probably a well-handicapped rival in a race in which things did not really go his way. He was beaten in each of his first three runs over hurdles for Padraig Roche, but he was impressive in winning at Naas on his last run before Cheltenham, and this was a nice step forward from that. A full-brother to Irish Derby winner and St Leger winner Capri, he won a maiden over a mile on heavy ground last August when he was with Aidan O’Brien, but it looks like he has found his metier over hurdles. He deserves a shot at a Grade 1 four-year-olds’ hurdle now at Aintree or at Punchestown, and he could be a very exciting hurdler next season.
Cheltenham, 15th March 2022