Tommy Berry is looking forward to riding Brutal in a race for the first time when the highly regarded colt bids to extend the unbeaten start to his career in his return to racing at Warwick Farm.
The Hawkes Racing-trained Brutal won all three starts in his first preparation last year in Melbourne, including two Listed races, and he resumes in Saturday’s Eskimo Prince Stakes for his first start since mid-September.
Dwayne Dunn rode Brutal in his Melbourne starts but Berry has ridden the colt in a Rosehill barrier trial win on January 29 and in a gallop in preparation for Saturday’s Group Three 1200m-race.
“I’d always liked him and he’d always been a nice horse but I hadn’t had anything to do with him before this preparation,” Berry said.
“I was really happy with how much he had improved from his trial to his bit of work I rode him in last week.
“He made great improvement fitness wise and he’s got class written all over him when you ride him.
“He’s just a lovely horse and goes about his business really well.”
Brutal was the $2.15 favourite on Friday in the field of nine and Berry is hoping the colt’s class shines through.
“He’s a horse who will definitely improve from the run but I think he’s the quality horse in the race and he’s going to take some beating,” he said.
“He’s drawn a bit awkwardly in barrier eight.
“There’s a bit of speed in the race with Charge and a couple of the others.
“Hopefully he can get a nice run on the speed and hopefully he’ll show his dominance.”