Haydock stage is all set for Brando to deliver

Jockey Tom Eaves and BrandoJockey Tom Eaves and Brando
Jockey Tom Eaves and Brando
THE stage is set for a Hollywood finale to the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock if Yorkshire challenger Brando can deny Harry Angel, one of the horses of the year, in a Group One sprint.

For, while Brando is owned by Pete Tingey, the proprietor of a Barnsley taxi firm, and his partner Angie Bailey, Harry Angel – the hot favourite – is owned by racing royalty in the form of Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed.

Yet the Yorkshire sprinter – named after American stage and screen star Marlon Brando – is more than entitled to take his place in the Haydock line-up tomorrow, 12 months after Karl Burke’s filly Quiet Reflection waltzed to a famous victory.

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Like the Clive Cox-trained Harry Angel who heads to the Merseyside track following victory in the Group One July Cup at Newmarket when Brando was third, the Yorkshire sprinter subsequently put up a career-best performance on his last outing to land the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

Trained at Hambleton by Kevin Ryan, and ridden by Tom Eaves, last year’s Ayr Gold Cup hero had so much in hand in this Group One that the aforementioned Cox has named Brando as the biggest threat to his charge.

This is music to the ears of Tingey, a bus driver’s son who owns Blue Line Taxis in Barnsley, and whose horses invariably honour the names of the leading names of showbusiness.

When Astaire ran in Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes three years ago, he told The Yorkshire Post: “I loved my upbringing. I loved my mum and dad. I love my brothers and sisters. We were from a poor family, but it’s not for me. I’ve worked hard. The business has been successful so I have been able to buy better horses.”

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And he, and his partner, have not looked back since first meeting Ryan 20 years ago when he was a journeyman jockey. They’re now mainstays of his North Yorkshire yard and relishing the rematch with Harry Angel in the Sprint Cup, part of the Qipco British Champions Series.

“Brando apparently ran the last three furlongs of the July Course in the fastest time since records began,” said Tingey as he discussed the July Cup race.

“Tom did right thing in following Caravaggio, who was red hot going into the race, but in hindsight if we’d been following something else we might have got closer to Harry Angel.

“It’s not going to be easy and Harry Angel is the one to beat, but I think they will be as worried about Brando as we are are about Harry Angel.”

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Tingey, whose firm owns a fleet of about 240 taxis in Barnsley, purchased Brando at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up sales for about £120,000 three years ago and since then he has thrived – winning seven of his past 13 races and accumulating £578,000 in prize money.

“I think his win at Deauville last time was probably his best performance yet,” added the proud Yorkshireman. “There are not many Group Ones where you see a jockey able to take a tug on a horse a furlong and a half out.

“That to me reflects just how well he is at present and if Kevin can turn him out in the same sort of shape, which I’m sure he will, then we’ve got to have a serious chance.”

As well as Harry Angel who is taking jockey Adam Kirby’s career to new heights, James Fanshawe’s The Tin Man and the William Haggas-trained Tasleet, the first two home in Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes, renew rivalry while Malton’s Richard Fahey saddles Growl, Kimberella, Mr Lupton and Queen Kindly.

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Cefall and Swaheen, who were both touched off in a tight photo finish to the 2016 Calverts Carpets Hambleton Cup, will both return to Thirsk to renew their rivalry on Ladies Day tomorrow.

Twelve months ago, Icefall made a gallant attempt to make all the running only to be touched off by a head by Tamayuz Magic with Swaheen a further head away in third.

“He ran a great race last year and I think he will run very well again,” said Icefall’s trainer Tim Easterby.

“He was wrong in his coat in the early part of the year, but has been in good form for some time and I have been desperate to run him, but there hasn’t been a race for him.

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The only recent one before the Hambleton Cup was at Hamilton and the ground was too heavy for him.”

One trainer who is hoping to see Icefall attempt to run them all off their feet again is Julie Camacho, who saddles Swaheen, now 5lbs better off with his rival for that head defeat.

“He is in really good nick, although a little rain would definitely help as he likes to get some dig into the ground,” she said.

Novice chaser My Renaissance recorded his sixth win at Sedgefield yesterday. Running in the colours of Panther Racing, the horse trained at Guiseley by Samantha England and was ridden by her husband Jonathan.