Bravo Brando

Date: 6 Feb 2023

Bravo Brando


Placed at both attempts on the course, stakes' winner and dual Group One placed Brando (5 g Savabeel - Saoirse, by Iffraaj) was back in winning form on 5 February at Tauranga.

Freshened since the Manawatu Challenge Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m) on 17 December at Trentham, Brando had sat back before finishing well for second on Soft7 going in the Open 1400 metres in November at Tauranga, and exercised similar measures to win the $40,000 Emac Electrical Open 1200 metres.

With Te Akau apprentice Niranjan Parmar claiming two-kilos to 59kg, Brando was back and wide throughout, still had a big task ahead on straightening, but kept winding up and stretched out nicely over the concluding stages.

It was also a good run for fourth by stable-mate Markus Aurelius (Ghibellines), fresh-up on (Heavy10) footing beyond his preference.

On unseasonal wet ground, Brando ran 1200 metres in 1:14.7 and paid $5.00 & $2.60 on the NZ TAB tote. 

Fresh from training two stakes' winners a day earlier, trainer Mark Walker said: “It was a lovely ride by Parmar. He's a head-scratcher at times, Brando, but on his day he's a good galloper. 

“We changed his gear around, took the blinkers off and put a shadow roll on. We experiment a lot with horses like him, trying to get the best out of them and it was a satisfying win today.”

A beautiful looking horse, purchased by David Ellis CNZM at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run, owned by the Te Akau R2R Colt Breeding Syndicate, Brando was bred at Fairdale Stud, from whom Ellis purchased $1 million Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) and Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) winner, now stallion in Australia, Cool Aza  Beel (Savabeel).

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 Hunter Durrant. 


Photo credit -


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