Brando will be the latest Kiwi to have a crack at the Australian Guineas in a Melbourne raid that begins in Saturday’s Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
Boom New Zealanders Xtravagant and Catalyst have tried and failed to the win the Australian Guineas in recent years but Jamie Richards will test the Savabeel colt Brando against the locals.
Brando finished a close second to Bonham in the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham last month before making the trip to Melbourne.
Richards booked Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jye McNeil for both the CS Hayes Stakes and Australian Guineas. McNeil was impressed with Brando when he rode him in work on Tuesday morning.
Richards decided to put blinkers on Brando for the CS Hayes Stakes. McNeil said the colt worked well with the headgear.
“He felt fantastic in the blinkers,” McNeil said.
“He worked well on Tuesday so I’m really excited on getting aboard him.”
Jye McNeil was impressed with Brando when he rode the three-year-old in trackwork on Tuesday. Photo: Sarah Reed.Source:News Corp Australia
Brando drew the awkward barrier 12 in Saturday’s $160,000 contest in which he will meet last year’s Blue Diamond winner Tagaloa, Caulfield Guineas runner-up Aysar as well as Group 2 winners Cherry Tortoni and Lunar Fox.
“He seems very exciting but we have to overcome a bit of an awkward draw there so we’ll see how we go,” McNeil said.
“It’s just a matter of luck in running because he has got the form on the board.”
Richards said he was unsure what tactics McNeil would adopt at Brando’s Australian debut.
“He has got an awkward barrier, so he will need a bit of luck. The visitors draw never makes it easy over there,” he said.
“We will just have a look at the speed maps.
“Flemington is a big, roomy track, so if you go back you have still got enough room. He will be inclined to maybe going forward a little bit
“But the grand final (the Australian Guineas) is still a couple of weeks away, so we will work it out once we speak to the form guys.”
Originally published asCS Hayes the first desire for Brando
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