Brutal truth: Berry unfazed by tricky draw
TOMMY Berry is drawing on the inspiration of two famous big-race winning rides as he plots a path for Brutal from the outside barrier in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens.
The star jockey produced one of the great Golden Slipper rides when he guided Vancouver from the extreme outside barrier of 16 to win the world's richest juvenile races four years ago.
And Berry has taken note of Hall of Famer Glen Boss's effort to bring Brutal from barrier 18 to win the Doncaster Mile earlier this year.
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Brutal was allocated barrier 17 at Tuesday's barrier draw and was immediately replaced as Golden Eagle favourite but Berry remains unconcerned.
"I remember when Vancouver drew wide in the Golden Slipper and I wasn't worried then and to be honest, I'm not worried now with Brutal,'' Berry said.
"Other people are more worried than me because I feel I am on the right horse.
"I believe Brutal is the best horse in the race and that's why I'm not worried. It's a bit like Vancouver, I thought I was on by far the best horse that day.
"When 'Bossy' rode Brutal in the Doncaster he knew he was on the best horse and rode him like that. I have to go out there with same attitude and do the same thing.''
Most speed maps have Brutal sliding across with Sunlight (barrier 16) with that pair potentially crossing in front of the field to share the early lead in the Golden Eagle.
But Berry said he will go out there with "an open plan" on the Team Hawkes-trained Brutal.
"Michael (Hawkes) rang me after the draw and asked me what I thought and I just said I'm going to have to give him a better ride,'' Berry said. "If I give him a good ride he will be in the finish.
"The Hawkes team rarely give instructions, they usually just say, 'ride the horse where he is comfortable'. They give me a free rein so I'm not tied down to specific instructions.''
Berry said the outside draw could work in Brutal's favour as the four-year-old seems to race best when on the outside of horses.
Brutal drew barrier two and didn't appreciate having to race inside horses when third in the Sydney Stakes last start, the jockey revealed.
"We drew in last start and Brutal cluttered up inside horses,'' Berry said. "When that happens he gets a bit keen in his races. His best runs have been when he has been outside of horses like he was in the Premiere Stakes first-up and in the Doncaster.''
Berry said the long run to the first turn from the 1500m start at Rosehill gives Brutal an opportunity to negate his wide barrier.
"There is a nice run out of chute to that first turn,'' Berry said. "They don't start turning until around the half mile (800m) so we have a run of nearly 600m to the first turn.
"Sunlight is out next to me so hopefully she takes us across. Brutal likes a bit of room in his races and we have the luxury of taking our time to get across. I've got to concentrate on the positives, leave the negatives out of it because you can't change the draw.''
Brutal is now on the second line of betting at $5 with Kolding behind the Chris Waller-trained Arcadia Queen who has firmed into $2.90 favouritism with Ladbrokes.
Berry also rides the outstanding Pierata from a wide barrier (12) in the $1 million Redzel Stakes (1300m). The Greg Hickman-trained Pierata was also disadvantaged by an inside draw in The Everest last start when fifth to Yes Yes Yes so Berry is also happier the five-year-old has "room to move".
"Pierata has great form around the trip, the 1300m really suits him,'' Berry said.
"He didn't have a hard run in The Everest and came through the race very well. From his barrier, he is going to get the room he needs to perform at his best. When he gets out into the clear air take a very good horse to beat him.''
Pierata is the $2.90 favourite to win the Redzel Stakes ahead of Godolphin duo Trekking at $4.20 and Deprive at $6.50.
Berry has a busy afternoon at Rosehill with eight rides before he prepares to partner Youngstar in the $8 million Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday.
$7.5 million, 1500m, Rosehill Gardens, Saturday
1 Brutal (17) M, W & J Hawkes Tommy Berry 57.5
2 Classique Legend (1) L Bridge K Mc Evoy 57.5
3 Kolding (4) C Waller G Boss 57.5
4 The Inevitable (3) S Brunton N Rawiller 57.5
5 Gem Song (9) K Lees B Avdulla 57.5
6 Zousain (12) C Waller Scratched 57.5
7 Behemoth (8) D Jolly Todd Pannell 57.5
8 Military Zone (13) P and P Snowden A Adkins 57.5
9 Jonker (2) D Atkins R Dolan (a) 57.5
10 Fun Fact (10) B Baker B Lerena 57.5
11 Beat Le Bon (15) R Hannon P Dobbs 56.5
12 Never No More (7) A O'Brien P C Boudot 56.5
13 I Am Superman (14) M O'Callaghan L F Roche 56.5
14 Sunlight (16) T & C McEvoy L Currie 55.5
15 Arcadia Queen (5) C Waller J B Mc Donald 55.5
16 Mizzy (6) A Cummings J R Collett 55.5
17 Fasika (11) J Pride Rachel King 55.5
THE KEY LEAD-UP RACES
The Everest, Randwick, October 19
Yes Yes Yes smashed the Randwick 1200m track record recording 1m 7.32s with a brilliant win in The Everest, defeating Santa Ana Lane and Trekking. There were three Golden Eagle runners in The Everest with Classique Legend leading that trio home, finishing sixth after having a luckless run in the straight. Sunlight and Arcadia Queen were prominent to the turn before fading to finish 10th and 11th respectively. Both mares still ran very fast time for 1200m emphasising the quality of the race.
Silver Eagle, Randwick, October 12
The Inevitable might be small in stature but he is big on talent, scoring impressively at his Sydney debut, finishing strongly to win with authority. Fasika loomed up to win but could not hold off The Inevitable's powerful surge. Mizzy sat in a forward position and held her ground to run a game third. Military Zone got held up for a run at a vital stage and his effort to close late for fifth was very good.
Brutal had been favourite prior to Tuesday's barrier draw but after being allocated gate 17 he has eased from $4 to $5. Arcadia Queen has been the big firmer, coming in from $4.60 to $2.90 favouritism after drawing well in barrier five. There are five runners at $10 or less with Kolding at $5, Classique Legend at $7.50 then The Invincible at $9.50. The rest of the field is $21 or longer.
There is a run of more than 500m to the first turn so although inside barriers are important, it does give the opportunity for those drawn wide to get across and find a position.
Sunlight (15) and Brutal (16) are drawn to start from the extreme outside barriers with most expecting them to come out running and look to cross the field before the first turn. Jonker has barrier two and is a speedy type but is considered suspect at 1500m. Jonker could hold the rail easily if they are the tactics. Mizzy (six) and Fasika (11) also like roll forward with both mares expected to settle in the front half of the field.
Chris Waller has two runners in the inaugural Golden Eagle, including the top two in betting, Arcadia Queen and Kolding. His third entry, Zousain was scratched on Wednesday. He's the only trainer with more than one runner. The internationals are here in force with Irish trainers Aidan O'Brien (Never No More) and Michael O'Callaghan (I Am Superman) plus England's Richard Hannon (Beat Le Bon) having runners.
Most of Sydney's top jockeys have chosen to ride in the Golden Eagle rather than at Flemington's Derby Day meeting. Kerrin McEvoy has regained the ride on Classique Legend with Nash Rawiller staying on Tasmania's The Inevitable. Glen Boss, winner of The Everest on Yes Yes Yes, is with Epsom Handicap winner Kolding and James McDonald has stuck with Golden Eagle favourite Arcadia Queen.
Brutal has to overcome a quality field and a horror barrier to win the Golden Eagle - but I think he can do it. The Team Hawkes-trained sprinter is out to his right distance range now after two 1200m runs this spring. He won the Premiere Stakes first-up then had excuses when a close third in the Sydney Stakes. Brutal gets out to 1500m, which will suit, and even though he has to come out of barrier 16, he did win the Doncaster Mile from an even wider barrier earlier this year.
Arcadia Queen is going to be very hard to beat. She just simply couldn't go with the frenetic speed and pressure of The Everest over 1200m yet ran 1m 8.1s finishing second last. The winner of six of her previous seven starts, Arcadia Queen had won the Theo Marks Stakes over 1300m brilliantly earlier this spring and will appreciate getting out to 1500m. She is well drawn, should settle about midfield and get every chance.
Classique Legend was unlucky in The Everest, finishing sixth after behind held up for a run in the straight. He eventually worked his way into the clear and was closing fast on the line. He's a huge talent racing beyond 1250m for the first time. The inside barrier is an advantage provided he gets clear galloping room in the straight.
The Inevitable has won eight of his 10 starts including his fast-finishing effort to take out the Sydney Stakes. He's perfectly drawn in barrier three and will get all the favours in the run.
Kolding won the Epsom last start and is another favoured by the draw. He is racing in tremendous form and is second favourite for a reason. I've also left out Fasika, Sunlight and Mizzy but each mare has a legitimate winning chance. Fasika is so genuine and will put herself into the contest, Sunlight is a triple Group 1 winner and all class, while Mizzy has never been in better form. Military Zone was unlucky in the Silver Eagle and should have finished closer. Gem Song comes off a fourth in the Epsom yet is at ridiculous odds of $61.
2 Arcadia Queen
3 Classique Legend
4 The Inevitable
Best outsider: Gem Song