Brando in peak shape for Sprint Cup says owner
7 Sep 2017
Peter Tingey hopeful that his pride and joy can turn tables on July Cup winner Harry Angel
Brando gained his first Group 1 success in France on his latest start. Picture: Racingfotos.com
The Kevin Ryan-trained five-year-old was a fluent winner of the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on his latest start and features among a final field of 12 for the six-furlong £260,000 showpiece, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Others to stand their ground include Harry Angel, the Darley July Cup winner, and the first two home in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June – The Tin Man and Tasleet.
Before winning in France, Brando had finished a staying-on third to Harry Angel in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket and Tingey is excited about the possibility of his pride and joy, who runs in the colours of his partner, Angie Bailey, turning the tables.
“Brando apparently ran the last three furlongs of the July Course in the fastest time since records began,” Tingey said. “Tom [Eaves, the jockey] did right thing in following Caravaggio, who was red hot going into the race, but in hindsight if we’d been following something else we might have got closer to Harry Angel.
“It’s not going to be easy and Harry Angel is the one to beat, but I think they will be as worried about Brando as we are are about Harry Angel.”
The proud Yorkshireman owns a fleet of about 240 taxis in Barnsley and has had horses with Ryan for almost 20 years. He and Bailey purchased Brando at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up sales for about £120,000 three years ago and since then he has thrived – winning seven of his past 13 races and accumulating £578,000 in prize money.
“I think his win at Deauville last time was probably his best performance yet,” Tingey said. “There are not many Group 1s where you see a jockey able to take a tug on a horse a furlong and a half out.
“That to me reflects just how well he is at present and if Kevin can turn him out in the same sort of shape, which I’m sure he will, then we’ve got to have a serious chance. It will be a nervy day for us, but when we stop getting nervous that will be the time to call it a day.”
Brando had Magical Memory (fourth) behind in France and the rain which has fallen at Haydock this week has been an added bonus for his connections. “He does act on fast ground but he’s better on softer,” Tingey said.
Harry Angel was a decisive winner of the July Cup when, apart from Brando, he also had Growl (sixth), The Tin Man (eighth), Mr Lupton (ninth) and Tasleet (last of ten) behind.
Earlier in the season the Clive Cox-trained three-year-old lowered Haydock’s 6f course record when winning the Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes. In between, he split Caravaggio and Blue Point in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
Harry Angel and Blue Point seek to give Godolphin a second success in the race, following Diktat in 1999, although Sheikh Mohammed, founder of Godolphin, has won it a record-breaking four times with Ajdal (1987), Wolfhound (1993), Cherokee Rose (1995) and Goodricke (2005).
The Tin Man and Tasleet ran below-par in the July Cup but it would be folly to discount either of them. The former was runner-up to Quiet Reflection in last year’s Sprint Cup and has two Series wins on his CV – the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (2016) and Diamond Jubilee Stakes – while Tasleet was an impressive winner of the Group 2 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York in May on soft ground before being beaten a neck by The Tin Man in the Diamond Jubilee.
Aidan O’Brien, yet to have a Sprint Cup winner, relies on Cougar Mountain and Spirit Of Valor. The field is completed by Kimberella and Queen Kindly.