A $1.5 million horse strolled home to win by six-and-three-quarter lengths at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Brabham, a four-year-old Snitzel gelding had realised that purchase price at the 2018 Australian Easter Yearling Sales being knocked down to Steve Morley Bloodstock / Glenlogan Park / Whitby Bloodstock and Rifa Mustang.
The eventual ownership team grew to include some very big names with Whitby Bloodstock Pty Ltd (Mgr: M J Whitby), Werrett Bloodstock Pty Ltd (Mgr: N R J Werrett), Professional Racing (Mgr: G J Loiero), Glenlogan Park (Mgr: J M Haseler), Kitchwin Hills (Mgr: S K Brown), Rifa Mustang (Mgr: Ms Y Hu) and Milano Bloodstock (Mgr: M A Milano) all securing a piece of the action.
Brabham made his debut at Newcastle over 1200m on February 29, 2020 where he finished as a beaten favourite. On March 11, Brabham was at Warwick Farm where he was again set a task over 1200m, but he was retired from that race, trailing in a distant last.
When examined post-race Brabham was found to be displaying cardiac arrhythmia and the then trainers Peter and Paul Snowden were advised that a veterinary clearance, including the results of an ECG, would be required prior to Brabham barrier trialling to the satisfaction of the Stewards.
Between March 23 and May 26 Brabham barrier trialled three times. There was then a gap of four months before Brabham trialled again. He finished a poor 16.20 lengths back in that trial shortly after which it was decided to relocate the horse to Queensland, to the stable of Tony and Maddysen Sears.
By the time Brabham debuted for the Sears yard, it had been just over eight months since he had seen race action.
Tony Sears, who trains in partnership with his daughter Maddysen, takes up the story.
“As I train for Gino Loiero … he has got a lot of horses all around the place … he and others bought him (Brabham) as a very expensive yearling,” said Sears.
“I’m not too sure what happened to him, but he ran off the rails a bit and had a few troubles.
“He was pulled out of a race in Sydney because he had hurt his back leg. From what I can gather he went back to spell and was gelded after that.
“He came back into work, had another barrier trial and went no good … so they sent him up here to me.
“I’d had him up here a fair while. He’s just got better and better since he arrived. He just needed a bit of confidence.
“He is a lovely horse. He is a bit light on for an expensive horse … not a big horse … but, If he can build on the confidence he would have got from that win, I’m sure he can go on to a lot better things than that.”
As for the race itself?
“It went to plan,” confirmed Sears. “I wanted him to either lead or run second. Jackson (Morris) has been riding him in work and he has been doing a fair bit of work with the horse, so it was good to reward him with the ride. He has only been back in Queensland for a few rides.
Morris certainly enjoyed the moment to a degree which earned a mention in the steward’s report which stated … ‘Rider J. Morris was fined $100 pursuant to AR131(c) for making a celebratory gesture prior to the winning post.’
Morris was out of pocket but clearly very happy with the win, as were the Sears camp and the owners … for them maybe out of relief more than anything else that it all went well … but, either way, Brabham now has his first win on the board and the manner in which he achieved it, even allowing for the ordinary quality of the opposition, means his next outing will be watched with some interest.