KEVIN Ryan couldn’t refuse the chance to win a third Abernant Stakes with top speedster Brando.
The eight-year-old is the godfather of the sprinting division and heads the betting for today’s Group 3 at Newmarket.
He may be getting long in the tooth, but ‘sprint king’ Ryan says he is still the Don on his Yorkshire gallops.
Ryan told Sun Racing: “He is in grand form, he seems as well as ever. You can’t knock his enthusiasm, he is full of himself and he looks to have all his old ability in his work.
“It would be nice if they get a little bit of rain to take the sting out of the ground, but I’m sure the track will be in pristine condition.
“We were very pleased to see this race reorganised, he’s won it twice and was probably a little unlucky when he was touched off last year.
“He loves Newmarket, whether it’s the Rowley Mile or the July Course he just thrives there.
“He is a legend in the yard and to still be bouncing like he is as an eight-year-old is a real testament to him.”
Ryan is heading into the Abernant mob-handed, with one-time Gimcrack hero Emaraaty Ana providing back-up to his Group 1-winning stablemate.
Ryan said: “It was good to see Emaraaty win at Salisbury on his last start last year and we decided to give him a nice break after that. And it’s paid off because he looks a different horse this year.
“He is really pleasing us at home. We thought we would give him a go over the mile last year. It didn’t work out, but he was a very classy sprinter as a two-year-old and that is going to be his bag.”
And Ryan reckons 50-1 shot Juan Elcano shouldn’t be underestimated in Saturday’s 2000 Guineas, with the colt a close third to Threat in the Champagne Stakes on his final two-year-old outing.
Ryan continued: “He is a horse we have always held in high regard and his form last year was good.
“He will obviously need to improve going into a race like the Guineas, but he has done brilliantly from a physical point of view and his work has been very good.”