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The Everest has been turned on its head after Doncaster Mile champion Brutal returned with an impressive win in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
The O’reilly entire received plenty of attention in Premiere Stakes betting in the hours leading up to jump and did his chances of justifying the trend no harm when jumping well and taking a forward position, just outside the early leader Home Of The Brave.
Tommy Berry had a lap full of horse as the field of six turned for home, but the watch was well and truly on market leaders Classique Legend and Osborne Bulls, who cruised into the straight.
Brutal responded with an enormous turn of foot when Berry asked for an extra effort, recording a win worthy of his name.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes was on hand for Brutal’s 2019 Premiere Stakes win and revealed the team was quietly confident of big first-up performance from the four-year-old.
“He’s just an absolute magnificent colt,” Hawkes said.
“I said to the owners; ‘He’s first-up, he’s got a long way to go. If he beats them today he is the real, real deal.’
“That’s what he is, he’s just a pure athlete and Tommy rode him good, done everything right. He’s a superstar.”
Brutal suffered a few minor setbacks in the lead-up to his return to the races, and Hawkes said that it was the team’s patience that played a key role in this afternoon’s result.
“He had a head cold; it was well noted. When you’re running in Missiles, which was about two and a half months ago and you have to stay up all spring; he’s a Doncaster winner, so less is more,” he said.
Lofty targets of a mile and beyond appeared to be the path set for Brutal this time, but his dominance over some of the country’s best sprinters could materialise in a berth in the $14 million The Everest here at Randwick in a fortnight.
“The plan was always to have maybe two runs into a Golden Eagle, but he’s beaten the best so-called sprinters in the land at the moment,” Hawkes said.
“There’s things we don’t discuss on raceday. We’re a stable who always likes to get home and have a look at how ours horses pull up but you know what, he’s going to be on everyone’s talking points.
“The Everest – is he good enough to run in an Everest? Of course he is. Will we run in The Everest? That’s yet to be determined.”
In being crowned the Premiere Stakes winner, Brutal has extended his career record to five wins and two minors from only eight starts.
2019 Premiere Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||6||BRUTAL (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||–||3||58.5kg||$5|
|2||3||HOME OF THE BRAVE (IRE)||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||0.4L||2||58.5kg||$31|
|3||2||CLASSIQUE LEGEND||Les Bridge||Nash Rawiller||0.9L||4||58.5kg||$2.25F|
|4||5||GRAFF||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||2.7L||1||58.5kg||$9.50|
|5||1||OSBORNE BULLS||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||2.9L||5||58.5kg||$3|
|–||4||LAND OF PLENTY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||–||0||–||–|
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