Brando wins Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest

Brando wins the Prix Maurice de Gheest from Aclaim (pic. www.tattersalls.com)
Brando wins the Prix Maurice de Gheest from Aclaim (pic. www.tattersalls.com)

Caravaggio flopped again as Brando (9/1) led home a British one-two-three in the Group One LARC Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

The July Cup fourth was sent off at odds-on by British bookmakers to atone for his surprise defeat at Newmarket but looked in trouble from the moment the stalls opened.

Loaded with a blindfold, he was slowly into stride and settled at the rear of the field by Ryan Moore as second favourite Signs Of Blessing took the field along.

Moore could be seen scrubbing along to no effect at the halfway stage as the leader still travelled strongly but as Stephane Pasquier started to send out the distress signals, Brando eased to the front under Tom Eaves.

Aclaim, trained by Martyn Meade, burst through against the rail and threw down a strong challenge but Brando answered every call to record an impressive success.

The Richard Hannon trained Tupi ran on well for minor honours while Caravaggio eventually found his stride and did all of his best work in the closing stages to finish sixth having been involved in a tight photo for fourth place, which went to the Charlie Hills-trained Magical Memory.

Sky Bet cut the winner to 5/1 from 7s for the Sprint Cup at Haydock Park with winning trainer Kevin Ryan going on to confirm the Group One to be under consideration.

Caravaggio was pushed out to 12/1 (from 8s) for the Haydock contest by Sky Bet. The online layers left Aidan O'Brien's charge unchanged at 8/1 for the Breeders' Cup Mile at Del Mar in November with the Ballydoyle handler believing he ran his charge back too quickly.

"Maybe I ran him too close after Newmarket," he reasoned.

Brando - Larc Prix Maurice de Gheest - Deauville - 06/08/2017

Ryan had to shut down his yard completely in early June for a few weeks after one of his horses tested positive for Equine Herpes.

"It's a great day. We're delighted with the horse," said the Hambleton-based trainer.

"He ran a good race in the July Cup and he'd tightened up since. He got a great ride and he was exceptional today. We'll look at Haydock (Sprint Cup, September 9) next."

Meade was thrilled with the performance of Aclaim, who was turning out just five days after finishing sixth in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood.

He said: "It was a fantastic run and I'm very, very pleased. He was very unlucky in the Lennox. He didn't have a hard race as he just got no run at all, which is why we decided to run him again.

"He was obviously in sparkling form today. I think a little bit more ease in the ground would have suited him better. We've just bumped into one too good on the day, but we were only beaten half a length and it was a great effort.

"We'll see how he comes out of the race. I think the Prix de la Foret is probably what we'll aim for, but he is quite a hard horse so I would imagine he'll run again before then.

"I think seven furlongs is probably the ideal trip for him."

Elsewhere on the card, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Abingdon was third in the Prix de Pomone won by Bateel, who was following up her Lancashire Oaks triumph for Francis-Henri Graffard.

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