By Ray Hickson
Brutal charged into contention, questions were raised over Classique Legend, Osborne Bulls failed to flatter while Sunlight got back on track and Santa Ana Lane served a reminder.
It’s what makes the twists and turns of the $14 million The TAB Everest (1200m) so fascinating and this week should see plenty of movement.
Does Godolphin go with their three-year-old Bivouac or star mare Alizee?
Who does James Harron deal with?
Which horse will Chris Waller decide on?
As far as Brutal is concerned the Hawkes stable has been fixed on the inaugural $7.5m The Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill on November 2.
TAB Everest Day was already penciled in for Brutal’s next start but will it now be the $14m feature or the Group 3 $500,000 Sydney Stakes (1200m)?
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said race day decisions aren’t the stable style but he gave the impression if a slot is offered it will be seriously considered.
“We are a stable that loves to see how our horses pull up,’’ Hawkes said.
“I have no doubt there will be plenty of people knocking on his door. Is he good enough to run – of course he is. Will we run – that is yet to be determined.’’
The TAB Everest market underwent a shuffle with Pierata, who will gallop at Warwick Farm on Monday, joined as favourite at $5 by Santa Ana Lane, Bivouac, Brutal and Sunlight firmed to $9 after she downed Santa Ana Lane in the Gilgai Stakes at Flemignton, Classique Legend eased to $9 while Osborne Bulls has drifted to $15.
Brutal hadn’t raced since he won the Doncaster Mile back in April and his start to the spring was later than most headline horses due to a head cold.
But it has turned out to be a blessing, Brutal has affirmed himself as a major player in the Golden Eagle and put himself in the frame for the Everest which, as funny as it sounds for a $14m race, could be the lead up run.
“We’re going to do the right thing by the horse, go home and talk about and see how he pulls up,’’ he said.
“I’m just excited the horse has come back. He was 100 per cent fit today but he showed his true colours and cream rises to the top.’’
Jockey Tommy Berry said he knew Brutal had returned in good shape after riding him in a recent trial and he made the decisive move in the race by parking the four-year-old outside the leader Home Of The Brave.
He was just feeling the pinch late as the leader kicked back but got the job done while Classique Legend finished half a length back in third.
Brutal wins the Premiere Stakes at Royal Randwick
“Draws don’t really matter with him too much,’’ Berry said.
“He’s got great gate speed but he’s not one you want to bustle out of the barriers, he’s a horse you have to let find his feet and get into a nice rhythm.
“That was pretty easy work for me.’’
Racing NSW vets reported Osborne Bulls pulled up 3/5 lame after he finished last and there has to be a serious doubt over last year’s third placegetter representing Godolphin in two weeks.
Classique Legend’s jockey Nash Rawiller was a little disappointed with the grey’s effort in running third, even though he was only beaten just over half a length.
“We had a nice run when the pace was slow before the corner he tracked up well in his own rhythm so we had a beautiful run,” he said.
“He did race a little bit greenly straightening. I would just like to see how pulled up, I don’t think we saw the real horse today.”