WEDNESDAY, February 17, 2021: LIGHTLY-RACED Hawkesbury three-year-old Just A Brother broke through at Scone yesterday, and trainer Terry Croft is confident it won’t be his last success.
Having only his fifth start, the gelded son of Albrecht left his rivals with no excuses whatsoever when he covered more ground than any of them and still won the Maiden Handicap (1300m) against his own sex.
Well supported to start a $4.80 third favorite, Just A Brother (Mikayla Weir) ran home resolutely in the centre of the track to score in a tight finish from The Gossiper ($16) and Coolmeans ($8.50).
“I wasn’t worried when Mikayla was wide throughout on Just A Brother,” Croft, who notched his fourth win of the season, said this morning.
“As long as she had him travelling in a good rhythm and comfortable, which she did, that was better than being back worse than midfield inside other horses.
“Just A Brother did a good job to win, and can only get better with more experience.
“I feel he will develop into a nice 1600m horse.”
Mikayla Weir, nearing the end of her apprenticeship, can now boast she has won on full brothers Just A Brother and the year older Just A Horse.
She rode Just A Brother in a recent barrier trial at Gosford, and partnered him for the first time in a race yesterday.
Weir has also been aboard four-year-old Just A Horse in two of his three wins to date.
Just A Brother’s name was a natural after his breeders despaired of getting a name for Just A Horse, the first foal of the Haradasun mare Mam’Selle Harada.
“They submitted a number of names and kept getting knocked back, so they called him Just A Horse,” Croft explained.
Mam’Selle Harada was not served after foaling Just A Brother, but was mated with Supido the following season and now has a yearling half-sister to the two brothers, along with a weanling by Stratum Star.
. Just A Brother is alsoback in work at Hawkesbury, and his trainer was happy with his 1000m trial at home on Monday when he finished third to Lord Olympus.
“I might not necessarily trial him again as we have jumpouts every week,” Croft said.
“He is coming along nicely and isn’t far off returning to the races.”
Croft is looking to add to Just A Brother’s Scone breakthrough with his stable stalwart No Escape at the Kensington meeting today.
And he isn’t breaking up a winning partnership, with apprentice Weir also partnering the gelding, already the winner of eight races, in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1400m).
Weir rode No Escape in his first-up third to Flexible in a similar race at the same track on February 3.