The Australian-bred Brazuca shed his classic bridesmaid tag and at the same time opened his feature account in style with a fluent win in Saturday’s R400 000 Gr2 Colorado King Stakes at Turffontein.
It is difficult to believe that the Johan Janse van Vuuren trained 4yo’s biggest win prior to Saturday was a Progress Plate success.
Placed four times at Gr1 level, and a runner-up in both the Gr1 Cape Guineas and Investec Cape Derby of his year, he caught his six opponents flat-footed at the 350m mark and surprised a few detractors by conclusively staying the testing 2000m.
A lightly campaigned chestnut son of top-class Danehill Darley stallion Teofilo, whose progeny are proven effective at the top level from a mile to 2400m, Brazuca has a terrific turn of foot.
And it was this asset that Gavin Lerena used to good effect, stealing a march some way from home, after Stonehenge had done the pacemaking duties.
The move proved decisive and Brazuca, despite lugging inwards, had over 3 lengths to spare at the line.
He clocked 124,24s for the 2000m.
A reshoeing at the start would not have done the luckless 15-10 favourite Deo Juvente any good, and he showed courage to stay on for second, 0,80 lengths ahead of a rather lacklustre French Navy.
The latter’s stablemate Samurai Blade came on too late and ran fourth.
Gavin Lerena raised his whip in triumph as Brazuca marked his first visit to the winner’s enclusure since 28 February, after a minor drought that included a period of suspension earlier this month.
Brazuca was purchased for A$ 80 000 off the Kia-Ora Stud draft at the 2014 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale by Paul Guy’s Heritage Bloodstock.
He is by Teofilo out of the unraced Choisir mare, Base Paradise, an unraced daughter of Gr2 sprinter, Catnipped (Rory’s Jester).
Racing in the prominent Wernars’ family white, black and red silks, Brazuca has won 5 races with 7 places from 14 starts for stakes of R1 925 275.
Gr2 Colorado King Stakes (SAf-Gr2)
Turffontein, South Africa, March 25, R400k, 2000m, turf, good, 2.04.24
1 – BRAZUCA (AUS), 59.0, ch c 4, Teofilo (IRE) – Base Paradise (AUS) by Choisir (AUS). Owner Messrs J F & L M F Wernars; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer JJ v Vuuren; jockey G Lerena
2 – Deo Juvente (SAF), 60.0, b g 5, Trippi (USA) – Circle Of Life (SAF) by Complete Warrior (ANY)
3 – French Navy (SAF), 59.0, b g 5, Count Dubois (GB) – Redoubtable (SAF) by Elliodor (FR)
Margins: 3.10, 0.80, 0.05