Brando backed to make it third time lucky in Newmarket’s Darley July Cup

KEVIN RYAN’S star sprinter Brando is on course to play a leading role in next month’s Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

Newmarket course specialist Brando and jockey Tom Eaves, pictured nearside, are on course for next month's Darley July Cup.
Newmarket course specialist Brando and jockey Tom Eaves, pictured nearside, are on course for next month's Darley July Cup.

Named after Hollywood icon Marlon Brando, the horse – trained by Ryan at Hambleton – has been placed in the last two renewals of this prestigious Group One race.

The seven-year-old, owned by Barnsley couple Peter Tingey and Angie Bailey, appears to relish Newmarket’s downhill undulations.

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As well as being placed in the main sprint, which is run on the July course, he is also a three-time winner on the Rowley Mile – the town’s other track.

Jockey Tom Eaves celebrates one of Brando's previous wins at Newmarket.

Victorious at Hamilton earlier this month, connections missed Royal Ascot to save the gelding for the July Cup.

A total of 22 horses have been entered for the renewal, with Ryan’s son and assistant, Adam, bullish about Brando’s chances of making it third time lucky.

“It was always the plan to run Brando in the July Cup so it’s all systems go,” he said.

“We were never going to take him to Royal Ascot – it’s quite hard for these sprinters to be at their best for both Ascot and the Darley July Cup and he’s got such good form at the two Newmarket tracks that it made sense to take him there as a fresh horse.

“For some reason he enjoys running downhill. We can’t put our finger on it, but he loves both Newmarket courses. The July Cup is a very difficult and prestigious race, especially nowadays when it is the culmination of a long wait for the three-year-olds to take on the older horses for the first time.

“If he (Brando) were to win it this time it would be fantastic for us and live long in the memory.”

On the horse’s longevity, Ryan junior added: “He’s a total gentleman at home and a bit of a yard favourite. He’s very laid back and so easy to deal with, he’s an absolute saint and everyone loves him.

“As he gets older maybe he prefers a bit of juice in the ground but I wouldn’t be worried about fast ground – the main thing with him is to have a truly-run race and you’ll certainly get that at Group One level.”

Brando’s main rivals could include the Michael Bell-trained filly Pretty Pollyanna who is set to drop back in trip to six furlongs after she failed to see out the mile in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Martyn Meade’s star three-year-old Advertise, who bounced back to form with victory in the Commonwealth Cup, is a possible runner while Sir Michael Stoute could saddle Dream Of Dreams who failed by just a head to catch the now-retired Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.