Brutal ready to atone in Eagle
Brutal has the course, distance and weight conditions to suit, he just needs a reasonable starting position to be the horse to beat in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The Team Hawkes-trained Brutal is the early favourite for the rich Rosehill race but the TAB Fixed Odds betting market could be overhauled after Tuesday's barrier draw.
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The inaugural Golden Eagle has attracted an outstanding group of four-year-olds and with a full field of 18 expected to contest the rich race, barrier positions are vital.
Brutal, winner of the Doncaster Mile earlier this year, resumed with an impressive win in the Premiere Stakes then was an unlucky third behind Deprive in the Sydney Stakes.
Hall of Fame trainer John Hawkes said Brutal has trained on well since that loss and will be at his best for the Golden Eagle.
"Brutal came through his last run really good, he should have won that race,'' Hall of Fame trainer John Hawkes told Big Sports Breakfast Weekend.
"This is going to be a tough race but 1500m on his home track and the set weights suits him.
"We are really looking forward to the race, he should be in it for a long way.''
The Golden Eagle field will include Epsom Handicap hero Kolding, Group 1 winners Arcadia Queen and Sunlight, talented Classique Legend, Silver Eagle winner The Inevitable and placegetters Fasika and Mizzy, Gem Song, Fiesta and international raiders Never No More, Beat Le Bron and I Am Superman.
LEADING HOOPS STAY HOME
Most of Sydney's top jockeys will be riding in the Golden Eagle including Tommy Berry (Brutal), James McDonald (Arcadia Queen), Classique Legend (Kerrin McEvoy), The Inevitable (Nash Rawiller), Kolding (Glen Boss) and Jason Collett (Mizzy).
But Hugh Bowman will be at Flemington where his rides include Relucent (Victoria Derby), Mister Sea Wolf (Cantala Stakes) and Microphone (Coolmore Stud Stakes).
Josh Parr will also be at Flemington to ride Derby favourite Shadow Hero and Tim Clark is on Cosmic Force (Coolmore), Hush Writer (Hotham) and Rock (Cantala).
Meanwhile, in Melbourne Cup news, Bowman will ride last year's runner-up Marmelo, McEvoy is confirmed for Finche, and McDonald has taken the ride on Latrobe.
Godolphin's James Appleby has declared James Doyle as the rider of Cross Counter with William Buick on stablemate Ipsolini.
NO CUP FOR WIN
Team Hawkes tuned up for the Golden Eagle meeting with a two-state Saturday treble last weekend including the impressive Master Of Wine, a runaway winner of the City Tattersalls Club Cup at Royal Randwick.
Master Of Wine toyed with his rivals, showing the acceleration of a top class stayer to put a margin on his rivals.
The former English stayer is still among entries for the $8 million Melbourne Cup but John Hawkes said it was very unlikely the gelding will be aimed at next week's Flemington two-miler.
Master Of Wine is way down in the order of entry and would need to back up this Saturday and win the Hotham Stakes at Flemington to secure a Cup start.
"He's not ready for something like that (Melbourne Cup) at this stage of his career,'' Hawkes said.
"He's only a young horse, he's been lightly raced, we have looked after him - we will let the dust settle (from last Saturday).
"The Melbourne Cup has just come around too quick for him but he might run in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes or go to the paddock.''
The Hawkes stable also had wins with Greyworm at Randwick and from Amangiri in the Group 3 Tesio Stakes at Moonee Valley.
NEWNHAM UPBEST FOR DERBY
Castelvecchio's outstanding effort to beat all but Japanese super mare Lys Gracieux in the Cox Plate was a pleasing result for Mark Newnham, trainer of Shadow Hero.
Earlier this month Shadow Hero defeated Castelvecchio in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes and the Newnham three-year-olds is early favourite at $2.80 for the Group 1 $2 million Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
"It was nice to see the form confirmed,'' Newnham said.
"Coming out of the Spring Champion the two best runs were the first two across the line, Shadow Hero and Castelvecchio.
"They defied the pattern of the day which tended to suit horses in front on the fence.
"But Shadow Hero and Castelvecchio were able to make ground in the middle of the track where it was hard to do on the day.
"Castelvecchio ran terrific (in the Cox Plate) and is a very good colt but Shadow Hero is going well, I'm very happy with him going into the Derby.''
AVDULLA ON FIRE
Brenton Avdulla was in rare form at Royal Randwick with four wins including his courageous effort on Kubrick in the BondiStakes.
Avdulla and Kubrick showed no fear taking the narrowest of runs through near the rail to win the $1 million race.
The star jockey admitted "good horses make you do some silly things" in races.
"It's amazing what confidence those good horses can give you,'' he said.
"As well, the good horses can get you out of trouble.''
Avdulla, a fan favourite with punters due to his aggressive riding, also won on Madam Rouge in the Group 3 The Nivison, Greyworm and Romani Girl.
WALLER ON TOP
Trainer Chris Waller prepared a treble at Randwick with Kubrick (beating stablemate Pancho), Madam Rouge and Romani Girl to give him 73 wins since August 1 and the lead in the national trainers premiership for the first time this season.
Even more remarkable is that Waller-trained runners have already earned $17.93 million prizemoney - and the 2019-20 seasonis not quite three months old.
KNACKERY BAN PUSH
There is growing support for Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'landys's push to introduce legislation around the nation illegal for a thoroughbred to be sent to a knackery.
V'landys maintains the "whole life of the horse should be protected", which seems a no-brainer in the wake of the animal welfare issues raised in the recent ABC 7.30 Report expose.