Te Akau Boxing day Bonanza - Win 4 of 6 - Brando

Date: 27 Dec 2020

Te Akau Boxing day Bonanza - Win 4 of 6 - Brando

Three wins from four starts and a readymade favourite for the Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m), Brando  (3 c Savabeel - Saoirse, by Iffraaj) skipped home in the $60,000 Shaw's Wire Ropes Uncle Remus Stakes (Listed, 1400m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie.

Big, beautiful and immensely talented are enviable traits in any thoroughbred galloper and add to that colt status and the sum result is a merry mix of horsepower. Brando seems to have it all and while the stakes will continue to rise, the way he had his rivals chasing in vain was a sight to behold.

While barrier eight threatened to prove a touch awkward, and it did through the early stages when caught three wide, rider Opie Bosson was seen at his brilliant best when finding the coveted one out, one back position and the writing was on the wall. 

Brando travelled beautifully once into his spot, peeled out rounding the home turn, quickened to level at the 200m and sprinted clear to win untouched by one and a quarter lengths. 

“It was an old fashioned hiding and he rolled them,” said one of his owners.

Following the performance, Opie Bosson said: “He felt awesome and he's a horse I've always had a lot of time for. We've worked out he's a better chaser and he was pretty easy towards the line. I didn't have to do much with him and he's a horse to really watch out for. 

“He's relaxing beautifully and given good ground he should be very hard to beat in the Levin Classic. He's a Group One horse in waiting.”

Clear favourite ($1.80 & $1.20), Brando ran the 1400 metres in 1:23.8 and last 600m in 34.5 on Dead4 footing.

“I liked the way he was a bit soft late and he's a colt I've always had a lot of time for,” said trainer Jamie Richards.

“Dave (Ellis) paid a bit of money for him at the Ready to Run Sale, but we like to try and develop these colts into stallions and he's heading in the right direction.

“It's only his fourth start. The form around him is really good and up to a mile in the Levin Classic looks perfect. 

“I'd like to say a big thank you to the team at home: Scott Lucock and Mette Mosebo who look after the Colt Barn have done a great job with him. He's not the most straightforward of horses to have around, but I really like his attitude.

“He's right up there with Hall of Fame and Age of Fire, horses that have won the Levin Classic for us previously. I don't think there's any doubt about that. Hall of Fame came out of the Ready to Run Sale as well and is probably quite similar to this horse - both by Savabeel.

“Because of Covid, he never raced as a two-year-old, but he's a pretty exciting horse to have around, and it was a lovely ride by that man (Opie Bosson) on top - just perfect. 

“We'll look to the Levin (Classic) and if he continues to progress the right way we may even look at Australia. There are plenty of options for a horse like him.”

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run, owned by the Te Akau R2R Colt Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), he was bred at Fairdale Stud, from whom Ellis also purchased $1m Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) and Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) winner and Champion Two-Year-Old Cool Aza  Beel (Savabeel).

Race sponsor Jonny Schick said: “I've got a horse with Te Akau and the professionalism they offer is fantastic. If you've got a good horse, it's the best place to have it.

“I saw the horse in the tangerine before the race and thought ‘it's already won'. It's great to see so many people getting so much enjoyment out of racing this horse and the whole Te Akau team is a wonderful machine and you should be very proud of yourselves. New Zealand racing is hugely lucky to have you.”

The next assignment for Brando is the $225,000 Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m) on 16 January at Trentham, a day that includes the weight-for-age $250,000 Telegraph (Gr. 1, 1200m).

Speaking on behalf of the owners, Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM said: “You come to a day like this: premier racecourse, premier race day, knowing that you've got a seriously good team engaged, knowing they're fit, they're well, and at the pinnacle of where they're headed. But it doesn't always work out, so we're very proud to have been able to win quite a few races today.

“We certainly don't take it for granted; it's a life's work and today is David's 52ndconsecutive Boxing Day meeting at Ellerslie. 

“We have some of our very best owners in this colt, and I used to say Xtravagant was 'sex on hooves' but this colt goes pretty close too. He's a damn good-looking boy.

“We have an extraordinarily passionate team of staff that look after our horses and they give us their all. Jamie is outstanding and his record speaks for itself. He has a massive work ethic and he leads by example.

“We're very proud to have him as our trainer and, again, it's a credit to David who really knows how to develop young talent. Opie is another example of this - he joined us as an apprentice when he was 14 years old and when he gets on a horse his natural instinct goes to another level.”

Brando was strapped by Mette Mosebo.

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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