1. Home
  2. News & Guides
  3. December 2018
  4. Brandi to fly flag for Queensland in Cup

Brandi to fly flag for Queensland in Cup

By Isaac Murphy

Brandi Alexander was the only Queensland dog to win a heat of The Brisbane Cup last week and trainer Tommy Tzouvelis said while the interstate brigade loomed large his bitch was ready for her shot at her first Group One.

Jumping from the pink in last week’s heats Brandi Alexander speared across to sit outside race favourite She’s Gifted, who was coming off a third in the Group One Melbourne Cup, but the Victorian tired and the local hung on for a gritty win.

Tzouvelis said he couldn’t be happier with how his dog jumped and showed guts to win the heat.

“She jumped beautifully and the two dog who is one of the quickest first sectional dogs in Victoria punched up inside her and wanted to get off the track a bit, so it took our momentum a there for a while,” he said.

“At the home turn they were coming at us from every angle and it looked like she was going to get run over, but she came again from third to get up and win, so I was rapt with that effort.”

Tzouvelis said he wasn’t surprised with the resilient run as the bitch had shown in her body of work she could win in different ways.

“She’s always been pretty gutsy and she really brought her will to win,” he said.

“She’s got good early speed and the majority of her wins have been on the bunny, but she does have a few wins where she’s come from off the speed and won, she’s not a one-dimensional dog.”

Brandi Alexander switches from the pink to the red this week and with the likes of Miss Splendamiro, Hasten Slowly and Cosmic Bonus outside of her Tzouvelis said she would have to run a flawless race.

“We can’t come from behind dogs like Cosmic Bonus and Not Available, at this level you can’t make any mistakes you’ve got to have everything go your way,” he said.

“Her first section was the second fastest on the night of the dogs that have qualified for the final, so it stands her in good stead.”

“If she can repeat that 5.51 and punch up and hold the rail she’ll give herself a chance to kick on.”

The two and a half year old Bitch still has plenty of racing in front of her and Tzouvelis expects to see a more complete racer down the track.

“She’s made a couple of Group Finals before in the Ipswich Auction and the Western Australian Oaks, but it’s definitely the biggest race she’s contested this far in her career,” he said

“We won’t see the best of Brandi Alexander for a while yet, over the next three to six months I expect her to just keep improving.”

“Once she gets a bit older I expect her to be competitive at Group level consistently.”

Tzouvelis also welcomed the new $3.5 million prize money injection in the industry, saying that it would benefit everyone, not just the big kennels.

“While it’s great having the $40,000 on top of the race, the big win was the general prize money across the board,” he said.

“When you’re racing for far more money at Ipswich on a Saturday or Albion on a Monday, it gives trainers more incentive to be more involved in the industry,” he said.

“Everyone want to win a Group One, but It’s great to see the bread and butter races have been looked after out of this.”