Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
  1. Home
  2. News
  3. January 2022
  4. Lawyer-to-be set for training debut

Lawyer-to-be set for training debut

IMG-7284.JPGBy Jordan Gerrans

For rookie trainer Mikhaila Brand, her long-term professional career is likely to be away from the racing industry.

The 28-year-old has been around the horses her entire life and is currently finishing her studies to eventually practice law.

Brand – the fiancĂ© of former Queensland-based hoop Pietro Romeo – has been involved in show jumping, dressage, rode track work and at one stage was working towards becoming an apprentice jockey, before a broken collarbone dashed those ambitions.

All those experiences have come together to kick-start her training career, which will officially launch on Friday afternoon at Townsville when first-starter Shortfin Mako goes around in the maiden over 1400 metres.

While training gallopers is Brand’s focus now, with three in work, she admits her law pursuits are likely to eventually take over.

She finished a degree in International Business and Business Law two years ago before going back to University recently to complete a Bachelors Degree of Law to eventually practice it.

“I probably see myself practising law in the long term but I will be focusing on my training now and for the next few years,” Brand said.

Romeo, who has been based in NSW for the last year, was a regular rider on the provincial scene across the Sunshine State before that, eventually basing himself in Townsville after stops in Rockhampton and the Sunshine Coast.

The 38-year-old helps Brand set the training program for the gallopers while living interstate recently.

Shortfin Mako

IMG-7287.JPG“Mikhaila still wanted to have an involvement in racing so she thought training would be the way to go,” Romeo said.

“She has done all the ground work on these horses – every single piece of it – it is all credit to her.

“She was a freak show jumper.

“She has always been in the horses, show jumping and dressage specifically.”

Shortfin Mako will be Brand’s first official starter as a trainer but the team had originally planned for unraced colt Rain Of Thorns to get them off the mark.

Two-year-old Rain Of Thorns performed well in his first public outing, beaten a nose in a trial, before he was sent for a spell.

“I wish it was my two-year-old that was my first starter as he is really promising,” Brand said.

“We had him set for the Pallarenda Stakes but he went a bit shin sore.

“Hopefully we will see him back up and running for the carnival this year.”

Mikhaila’s father – Les – is the majority owner of Shortfin Mako, who will be ridden by experienced North Queensland hoop Frank Edwards on debut on Friday afternoon.

“I do not think we will see the best out of him until he gets to a mile to 2000 metres,” Mikhaila said.

“On his debut, it will be an experience for him being on pace and being around that many horses.

“There is another maiden over 1400 metres in a couple of weeks so hopefully he pulls up ok, we will aim him at that one to see if he can improve a little bit.”