Doncaster Mile winner Brutal is set to peak for a grand final performance when he takes on a tough field of four year olds in the $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Brutal proved his class during his three year old season with a win against the older horses in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on day one of The Championships on April 6 and Team Hawkes co-trainer Michael Hawkes said that the Golden Eagle was earmarked as the colt’s main Spring Carnival target.
“It just ticks all our boxes. Obviously this is our grand final, it is what we have set him for all along and we can’t have him any better,” Michael Hawkes told Racenet.
The John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes trained Brutal has had two runs leading into the Golden Eagle and Hawkes said that the 1500m is the right distance for the O’Reilly stallion at this stage of his preparation.
Brutal kicked off his 2019 Spring Carnival campaign with a first up win in the Group 2 $500,000 Bisley Workwear Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 5 followed by a third in the Group 3 $500,000 Camera House Sydney Stakes (1200m) at Randwick a fortnight again.
“First-up he was outstanding, second-up 1200m probably wasn’t his ideal distance, he might have been looking for 1400m second-up to come into this race 1500m.
“In saying that he still fought well. It was a great run. He was probably looking for further.
“Last preparation third-up over 1500m he ran into a mare called Winx and obviously ran second in the George Ryder to her at weight-for-age.
Brutal was out of luck at the barrier draw and Hawkes is relying on Tommy Berry to overcome the outside gate in the sixteen horse field.
“It is what it is,” Hawkes said.
“He drew wide in the Doncaster. This is a different race again.
“He is probably the quality horse in the field albeit it is a quality field.
“Tommy knows the horse. He knows what he has got underneath him. Hopefully he can get in a nice spot.
“We are going in confident. The horse is great and we can only rely on Tommy to get the job done now on top.”
Brutal has drifted slightly in the Golden Eagle betting and is now the third pick at $5.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Chris Waller trained Arcadia Queen marked as the $3.10 favourite ahead of her stablemate Kolding at $5.
Betting for the 2019 Golden Eagle at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.10 Arcadia Queen, $5 Kolding, $5.50 Brutal, $7.50 Classique Legend, $9.50 The Inevitable, $17 Fasika, $26 Never No More, Mizzy, Sunlight, $41 Gem Song, $51 Military Zone, $61 Beat Le Bon, $81 Behemoth, $101 I Am Superman, $151 Fun Fact, Jonker.