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The first Group One race of the 2020-21 Australian racing season is the immediate target for trainer John Sargent with Brandenburg.

The three-year-old colt continued preparations towards the Group One weight-for-age Winx Stakes with a barrier trial at Randwick on Tuesday.

Brandenburg went around in a 1080m heat on the Polytrack, finishing fourth under jockey Hugh Bowman in the trial won by the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Creator.

Sargent elected to run Brandenburg on the Polytrack on Tuesday rather than wait until Friday for one of the three rescheduled heats on the Kensington track for Group horses.

He said trialling on Tuesday fitted in better with the rising four-year-old’s program, with the plan for him to have another barrier trial in two weeks before resuming in the Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 22.

Sargent said he was following a similar program to Brandenburg’s previous campaign when he trialled twice before winning the Group Two Hobartville Stakes (1400m) first-up.

After winning the Hobartville, the colt then ran in four Group One races during the autumn, finishing third in the Randwick Guineas, fourth in the George Ryder Stakes and third in the Doncaster Mile before being unplaced in the All-Aged Stakes.

“He just had a nice quiet trial like he did last time,” Sargent said.

“He had two trials last preparation and just finished in amongst them both times so he’ll do the same and then he’ll be ready to go in the Winx Stakes.

“He was very fresh early in the trial and Hugh just sat on him up the straight and was happy with him.

“He pulled up with a big blow so he’s on track for where we’re going.”

Sargent said Brandenburg had strengthened since his previous campaign.

“We’ve got a more mature horse so hopefully we’re in for an exciting season,” he said.

As well as Creator winning the opening heat, the Snowden stable had eight other trial winners from the 17 heats conducted.

 
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