Tom Eaves steers Brando (noseband) to victory
PICTURE: Getty Images
By James Burn 2:04PM 2 JUL 2016
Report: Sandown, Saturday
Coral Charge (registered as the Sprint Stakes) (Group 3) 5f, 3yo+
BRANDO, second in two big-field handicaps this term, made a successful transition to Group level when holding off Monsieur Joe up the Sandown hill in Saturday’s Coral Charge.
Sent off the 2-1 favourite after being denied in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot last time, Brando was soon in a prominent position under Tom Eaves and shot clear inside the final two furlongs.
Monsieur Joe, an 8-1 chance, gave chase, but could not reel in the winner, who is trained by Kevin Ryan for Angie Bailey.
“He could’ve done with something to take him further, but he travelled so well and in this [soft] ground I wanted to keep the momentum going,” said Eaves, who is engaged to Ryan’s daughter Amy.
“I could’ve done anything on him and he’s quite uncomplicated. He’s versatile and a joy to be around. It’s testing ground, but he’s got a massive heart.”
Ryan, who will aim Brando at the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on August 19, added: “It’s a long final furlong here and he was getting lonely in front, but he was very impressive.”