8 Win Saturday - Brando Goes Back to Back

Date: 26 Feb 2023

8 Win Saturday - Brando Goes Back to Back


Last start winner Brando (5 g Savabeel - Saoirse, by Iffraaj) delivered again in the $40,000 JCE Construct Open 1200 metres on Saturday at Otaki.

Registering his seventh victory for the Te Akau R2R Colt Breeding Syndicate, stakes winner and dual Group One placed Brando had won the corresponding race on 5 February at Tauranga, and the confidence gained was evident.

Highest rated and claiming two kilos courtesy of apprentice Temyia Taiaroa (a2), Brando still had to lump 60kg, but made light of work it after trailing a small field he quickened to the outside and simply proved too good. 

“I had a lot of horse underneath me and he's such an amazing animal,” Taiaroa said, on dismounting. “He gives you so much power and drive. 

“It was a very good opportunity and to win on him feels amazing.”

Brando also shined at his only previous course attempt when finishing third at corresponding meeting last year in the WFA Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m), while making it four wins from five starts over 1200 metres. 

“It was a good return to winning form last start and pleasing to see him going on with it under a nice ride by Temyia (Taiaroa),” said trainer Mark Walker. 

On Good4 footing, Brando ran 1200 metres in 1:10.4 and paid $2.80 & $1.60 on the NZ TAB tote after the field was reduced when two horses scratched at the start. 

On course at Otaki, racing manager Reece Trumper said: “He's starting to put it together now. We used to try and get him into a forward position, but we've left him alone out of the gates in his last couple of starts and he's had a really powerful finish.

“He's a beautiful animal that Dave (Ellis) bought and the staff did a wonderful job with him, because he's not the easiest to deal with, and the owners have stuck with us.

“He was a colt syndicate horse, although isn't anymore, but putting it together as a racehorse now.

“He ran a good third in the Group One mile here last year and the way he's racing we could get him back to 1400 metres and a mile, for sure. He's out of an Iffraaj mare, so there's no reason why not.”

A beautiful looking horse, purchased by David Ellis CNZM at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run, Brando was bred at Fairdale Stud, from whom Ellis also purchased $1m Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) and Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) winner, now stallion in Australia, Cool Aza  Beel (Savabeel).

“It's great to see him fulfilling the promise he's always shown,” Ellis said. “He's won back-to-back races, carried a fair bit of weight but he was still able to quicken at the business end.”

Like former stable-mate and dual NZ Horse of the Year Melody Belle (Commands), winner of a record 14 Group One races, Brando is the first foal from a young Iffraaj mare, in turn out of a mare by Champion Sire O'Reilly (Last Tycoon). 

He carries a lovely balance in his sire lines of Nureyev, a sire of sires and phenomenal influence of equine quality, and three-quarter brother to Sadler's Wells.

Brando was strapped by Casey Brown.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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