Feb 07, 2019
What a satisfying feeling it was watching Bravo Tango launch from the 200m at Sandown on Wednesday evening, the horse who has always shown such good natural ability at times testing everyone's patience with a few runs well below what he is capable of.
But, on the back of a spell and an eye-catching second to subsequent Gr.3 winner Tin Hat, Bravo Tango was well placed to show his best stepping up to 1300m - the only concern pre-race being barrier one, not always ideal for such a long striding horse.
But, aided by a lovely ride by Jarrod Fry, Bravo Tango was able to get a nice position along the rails just a bit worse than midfield and when the splits came from the 400m he was able to make his run - and with a furlong to go he was off and away!
Saluting by 1 1/4 lengths with plenty in hand, Bravo Tango was in the winner's circle for the first time since September 2017 having looked a major player for big races this time last year, things just not going his way in the meantime.
"Twelve months ago he was one of the picks for the Australian Guineas," Mitch Freedman rued, happy to see the four-year-old back in such a good form - "our staff have done such a great job with him; icing his legs, ultrasounding him, massaging him - he takes a bit of work."
"There was a time after his (well beaten) run at Flemington in Cup week that there were thoughts of moving him but enough of his owners stuck with me which I am grateful for."
Freedman was keen to heap praise on the underrated Jarrod Fry who rode such a patient and well timed race - "you could not have got a better ride, he is a bloke with a lot of talent."
Fry is forming a good relationship with Bravo Tango this time in, noting that he was happy throughout the race - "from that gate we just needed an ounce of luck and once we got it I was confident," he said.
"He is a horse who takes time and effort but Mitch has great staff," he added.
One of the few talented locally bred horses by the disappointing shuttler Congrats, Bravo Tango is a full brother to the Gr.1 placed juvenile Chimboraa out of the unraced Sadler's Wells mare Pas de Deux.
Bred in New South Wales by Kia Ora Stud and purchased at the 2016 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, he is a grandson of the two times Irish Gr.3 winner Bermuda Classic, an outstanding broodmare who produced the Royal Ascot Gr.1 winner Shake The Yoke (in turn dam of the US Listed winner Shake Off), the four times Gr.3 winner Tropical (dam of the Dubai based two times Gr.3 winner Tropical Star and grandam of the French Gr.1 winner Move In Time) and the Irish Listed winner Kournakova.
Served last spring by Star Witness having produced a Fastnet Rock filly in mid-October, Pas de Deux hails from a prolific European family, one which descends from the famed matriarch Pretty Polly.