By Ray Hickson
Trainer John Sargent has been patiently waiting for things to fall into place for Brandenburg and he's confident the scenario is right for the four-year-old to finally produce his best in Saturday’s $500,000 The Coast (1600m) at Gosford.
The form guide will tell you that Brandenburg has had two runs back from a spell and finished 12th on both occasions – on face value that’s not encouraging.
But Sargent said the horse is going very well and the step up to a mile, and an outside barrier, will allow the gelding to have a clear shot at them, something he certainly wasn't afforded in his last outing.
“He’s had a couple of shockers, it’s probably a good thing he's drawn a bit wide on Saturday,’’ Sargent said.
“I’d rather have (11) than one or two and be caught on the fence because the same thing could happen.
“At least he can keep out of trouble. He’ll roll over, it doesn’t matter where he is, hopefully he can find a back somewhere and get out and get at them. Or he can make his own luck.”
Brandenburg hasn't won since he claimed the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) in February last year.
He resumed in the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) and ran last behind Signore Fox but Punter’s Intelligence sectional data showed he ran 33.79 for his last 600m.
Then in a Benchmark 100 over 1400m two weeks ago he was badly shut out of a run inside the 200m when climbing over the backs of a wall in front and had to be restrained but was only beaten 3.8 lengths by Rocha Clock.
Sargent said the horse’s mile form is excellent and he believes he’ll only continue to improve as he steps out further in trip, potentially to the Group 1 Doomben Cup at his next start if he returns to form.
In his last four attempts at 1600m Brandenburg has run sixth, beaten three lengths, in The Gong, eighth, beaten 2.4 lengths, in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap, third, beaten 0.6 lengths, in last year’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile and third in the 2020 Group 1 Randwick Guineas.
“He’s bred to get over a trip and I can’t wait to get him out over a mile plus,’’ Sargent said.
“I think he’s even fitter since his last run, he’s not blowing in his work, he takes quite a bit of work to get up to peak fitness.
“As you saw last start he was ready to go but there were no gaps at all for Louise (Day).
“Let’s hope he gets some luck and he can show the ability he’s got. That will give him some confidence because he hasn’t got any out of his last couple.
“I do think everything is there, it just needs to fall into place.”
Regan Bayliss rides Brandenburg, kept safe at $9 with TAB on Thursday, in The Coast.
Brandenburg's luckless last start at Randwick on April 24
Meanwhile, Sargent said talented four-year-old Emeralds is being prepared for a likely swansong in the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara late next month and will trial twice before heading north.
Her younger half-sister Four Moves Ahead still has a few weeks in the spelling paddock remaining before she returns to work for what Sargent hopes will be a big spring campaign.
The filly ran fourth in the Group 1 Golden Slipper and Inglis Sires’ in an interrupted preparation.
“I think you’ll see a serious three-year-old filly,’’ he said.
“She was half a race behind every time, with the cold and knocking her knee, it wasn’t ideal but she still ran well.”