Tom Eaves steers Brando (noseband) to victoryPICTURE: Getty Images
Brando plays starring role to land Coral Charge
Report: Sandown, Saturday
Coral Charge (registered as the Sprint Stakes) (Group 3) 5f, 3yo+
BRANDO, second in two big-field handicaps this term, made a successful transition to Group level when holding off Monsieur Joe up the Sandown hill in Saturday's Coral Charge.
Sent off the 2-1 favourite after being denied in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot last time, Brando was soon in a prominent position under Tom Eaves and shot clear inside the final two furlongs.
Monsieur Joe, an 8-1 chance, gave chase, but could not reel in the winner, who is trained by Kevin Ryan for Angie Bailey.
"He could've done with something to take him further, but he travelled so well and in this [soft] ground I wanted to keep the momentum going," said Eaves, who is engaged to Ryan's daughter Amy.
"I could've done anything on him and he's quite uncomplicated. He's versatile and a joy to be around. It's testing ground, but he's got a massive heart."
Ryan, who will aim Brando at the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on August 19, added: "It's a long final furlong here and he was getting lonely in front, but he was very impressive."
Light Up Our World made all to spring a 20-1 surprise at SandownPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Also on Saturday
Coral Distaff (Listed) 1m14y, 3y0 fillies
LIGHT UP OUR WORLD sprung a 20-1 surprise as she got the better of the well-fancied Wilamina at Sandown.
Jockey Pat Dobbs headed straight to the lead on board the Richard Hannon-trained filly and was never headed, with 3-1 hope Wilamina a length and a quarter adrift at the line.
Sharaakah took third at 9-2, a further length and a half away, with the favourite Snow Moon unable to pick up in the testing ground and fnishing fourth.
"She fully deserves this," said a delighted Hannon.
"Derek Boocock [owner] fancied his chances in the Prix de Diane and races like that but she slightly let us down mid-season. She's put on a bit of weight the last few weeks and it's lovely to see her back."