08/06/2017 1:47PM

Brando makes Prix Maurice de Gheest his first Group 1 victory


Brando won his first start outside of Great Britain, and his first Group 1, in Sunday’s $449,500 Prix Maurice de Gheest for sprinters at Deauville, France.

Bound for Nowhere, the Kentucky-based colt trained by Wesley Ward, finished 10th of 13 after racing near the front for the first half of the race at 6 1/2 furlongs on a straightaway turf course. Bound for Nowhere was a winner at Turfway Park and Keeneland earlier this year and fourth in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June.

Brando (10-1) was ridden by Tony Eaves, who kept the 5-year-old gelding toward the back of the field for the first half-mile. Brando began to move closer to the front in the final quarter-mile and held off a late threat from 38-1 Aclaim to win by a half-length.

Aclaim was sixth in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse in England last Tuesday.

Tupi, a 153-1 longshot, finished third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths.

The disappointment of the field was Caravagaggio, the 8-5 favorite who raced at the back of the field after a slow start and was never a factor, finishing sixth, 4 1/2 lengths behind Brando.

Brando has won 7 of 20 starts for Angie Bailey, including Group 3 races in England last August and in April of this year. Prior to Sunday, his biggest win in terms of prize money was the $255,000 Ayr Gold Cup at six furlongs in Scotland last September.

Brando is trained by Kevin Ryan, whose stable was temporarily out of action in the spring because of an EHV-1 virus outbreak. Brando had one start after the stable resumed racing, finishing third in the Group1 July Cup at Newmarket on July 15.

Ryan told the European press that Brando will be considered for the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup at six furlongs at Haydock Park on Sept. 9.

The Prix Maurice de Gheest is the top sprint of the prestigious Deauville summer meeting.