O’Reilly colt Brutal, an exciting three-year-old prospect in the spring, is being set for a tilt at autumn spoils after having his spring campaign cut short last year.
The Hawkes Racing-trained runner is unbeaten in his three career starts-to-date, including two at Listed level, and his autumn campaign got off to a good start with a 900m trial win at Rosehill on Wednesday.
“He did a good job, he still wants to savage the line,” co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said.
“He was probably going to run second until about 50 yards before the line, but he had a big blow and he has done tremendously well.
“He has to improve because other horses will from the spring. Where it works in our favour is we haven’t been thrown in the deep end yet and we haven’t taken on the best horses yet.
“We have looked after him and he’ll step up in the autumn.”
Hawkes said connections are still undecided on what races their New Zealand-bred colt will target, but they are leaning towards sprint distances at this early stage.
“We will just see how he is and let him tell us what to do. In some respects you probably look at him more as a sprinter and do we have to stretch him? You probably don’t have to if you don’t need to,” he said.
“I think with Brutal, we will more than likely keep him to the sprint races, then after a couple of runs maybe give him a seven furlong (race). But we’ll just see how he comes back and let him tell us.”