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Golden Eagle - A Runner By Runner Guide

Tips by Brad Gray

Brad Gray profiles every runner in the $7.5 million Iron Jack Golden Eagle at Rosehill on Saturday.

1. BRUTAL
Trainer: Team Hawkes
Jockey: Tommy Berry

From his first ever start, Brutal announced himself a future star, belting his rivals at Caulfield. Six starts later he was a Doncaster winner, albeit with 49.5kg on his back. The Epsom was originally his target prior to the spring but a minor setback saw the goal posts shift to having him peaking for the Golden Eagle. He sat outside of Home Of The Brave first up in the Premiere Stakes and won well, with Classique Legend a length back in third (despite Classique having the extra run under his belt). Brutal then ran in the Sydney Stakes, staying at 1200m. The gentle tempo didn’t suit him as Deprive had the superior turn of foot and clocked the fastest last 600m of the day to sweep to victory from last. Out to 1500m is perfect now third up, the same campaign which saw him run second to Winx third up last preparation. Barrier 17 looks grim on paper but he has likely leader Sunlight drawn to his immediate inside. One of the few winning hopes that hasn’t already had his grand final. That’s a huge advantage.

2. CLASSIQUE LEGEND
Trainer: Les Bridge
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

Kerrin McEvoy reunites with Classique Legend (Pic: Steve Hart)

The hard luck story of The TAB Everest. The son of Not A Single Doubt ran sixth but would have finished much closer if he saw daylight earlier. He found himself boxed in from the 600m to the 200m and even then had to check off Santa Ana Lane’s heels to find clear running. Loved the way he attacked the line late. Yes Yes Yes broke the Randwick track record and Classique Legend was taking ground off them all the last 50m. The grey has never been beyond 1200m but trainer Les Bridge has always suggested the horse he rates as potentially the best he’s ever had, will be even better out to 1500m. Drawn barrier 1, he won’t spend a penny early but Kerrin McEvoy will need to be on his game early as there is half a dozen or so runners here that’ll be eyeing off the spots tucked in behind the leaders. Big unknown at the trip but has the quality to win.

3. KOLDING
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: Glen Boss

Has won six from seven since being gelded with the defeat coming first up in the Tramway behind Dreamforce at a meeting where it was advantageous to be off and running. He should have finished second having been held up. He then won the Bill Ritchie fighting back to beat Fierce Impact, subsequently a dominant winner of the G1 Toorak, before holding off Te Akau Shark in the Epsom, with the Kiwi star franking the form by running third in the Cox Plate. Kolding’s Epsom win was outstanding, having ridden a brutal speed to be left in front a long way from home. He did carry just 50.5kg but he was entitled to fold up late but his last 200m ranked the second quickest in the race, with only Te Akau Shark and himself the only two runners clocking a sub 12s last split. Has the mile run under his belt with a tickover trial win at Rosehill keeping the engine ticking over. Can he peak again?

4. THE INEVITABLE
Trainer: Scott Brunton
Jockey: Nash Rawiller

Small in stature, big in heart. The diminutive Tassie gelding has won eight of his 10 starts and still continues to improve. He was breathtaking in winning at Moonee Valley two starts back showcasing the asset of being able to sustain his sprint. The foot was put down at the 800m yet there he was still stretching his winning margin across the line. The Inevitable’s last 200m was still comfortably the quickest in the race, by some two lengths, and he beat subsequent Sydney Stakes winner Deprive. That ties the form in through Brutal. In Sydney we got our first look at him in the Silver Eagle where again his ability attack a line was on display, beating off a game Fasika, again clocking the fastest last 200m. Nash Rawiller sticks with The Inevitable over Classique Legend. The harder they go, the better he’ll be suited. Don’t you dare underestimate him!

5. GEM SONG
Trainer: Kris Lees
Jockey: Brenton Avdulla

Kris Lees’ galloper returned with an excellent third in the Theo Marks chasing home Arcadia Queen and Trope signalling that he’s returned in career-best order. Hasn’t really gone on with it since despite being around the mark in his two subsequent runs. He was second to Mister Sea Wolf in the G2 Shannon Stakes when the favourite, getting every chance before running fourth in the Epsom behind Kolding, beaten 3.5 lengths. He meets Kolding 1.5kg better off but that won’t be enough to turn the tables. Riding him quietly, as he was saw first up, and letting him flood home late down the outside will see him run up to his best. That might be good enough to finish in the first dozen or so but he’d need to produce a new big new PB to win, which appears unlikely.

7. BEHEMOTH
Trainer: David Jolly
Jockey: Todd Pannell

Missed the kick in the Silver Eagle and after working into the race well in the straight (fastest 400-200m in the race) he felt the pinch late. He was entitled to given he was six weeks between runs. At the end of the day he was only beaten 4.2 lengths by The Inevitable. Prior to his freshen he won the Penny Edition in Adelaide beating Amberdi (since fourth in the Let’s Elope) and Waging War (since sixth in the Toorak). That was his first try at 1400m. Like how he found the line behind Begood Toya Mother over 1200m at Caulfield before that and last campaign he ran second in the G1 Goodwood splitting Despatch and Spright. What a ride for the owners that paid just $6000 for the All Too Hard gelding – and here he is racing for a $4.1m first prize! Hard to make a case for him winning but will run better than his odds suggest.

8. MILITARY ZONE
Trainer: Peter and Paul Snowden
Jockey: Andrew Adkins

Trainers Paul and Peter Snowden (Pic: Bradley Photos)

Attacked the line late in the Silver Eagle after disappointing at Caulfield first up behind Renewal and Zoustyle (both failing to as favourites at their subsequent starts). In his three previous runs at 1400m, he is untried over any further, he beat Trope in the Hawkesbury Guineas, ran second to Wild Planet in the Scone Inglis Guineas from last in a leader dominated race before towelling up Baccarat Baby in Queensland. Peter and Paul Snowden will have the son of Epaulette cherry ripe now third up for his grand final. Going back to the Silver Eagle run, as strong as he was late to the eye, he still has some work to do to turn the tables on the winner The Inevitable and runner up Fasika, let alone the other key chances at the top of the market.

9. JONKER
Trainer: David Atkins
Jockey: Robbie Dolan

A throw at the stumps, and why not. It’s a big carrot and a horse is only four once. That said, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where this horse finishes in the top half. Down to eighth still pays $100,000. The Newcastle-based galloper was placed to win first up in Queensland in a set weights Class 6 but was never in the hunt after finding himself a long way back. He then led up the Silver Eagle and knocked up to finish a fading sixth. The blinkers came off in the Sydney Stakes and after being ridden midfield, he didn’t have the acceleration to quicken when the gap presented behind Home Of The Brave before suffering interference and going to the line untested. The 1500m looks to stretch him, especially in this class of race. Imagine he is ridden similarly to last start from barrier 2.

10. FUN FACT
Trainer: Bjorn Baker
Jockey: Brandon Lerena

Looks outclassed in this. Tackles it first up which gives him his best chance of sprinting at the end of 1500m. Was luckless second up over 1550m last time in work but we are talking Canterbury Benchmark 70s. After a couple of hard luck stories over the autumn he got his dues back to the midweeks at Warwick Farm before leading all of the way out to 2200m in a Group Three at Eagle Farm beating Angel Of Heaven. Sat outside of the leader in a field of four at Hawkesbury in his one trial ahead of his return and liked his response when pumped along to win the heat. He’s the rank outsider in the field and rightly so, no arguments from me there.

11. BEAT LE BON
Trainer: Richard Hannon
Jockey: Pat Dobbs

The first of three internationals in the field, this one trained by Richard Hannon. Beat Le Bon has won three of his past four starts and has been exposed to big fields in high pressure races. That at least suggests he’ll handle the shape of Australian racing. He was impressive at Goodwood over the mile two back but as Andrew Hawkins (Sky Racing’s international expert) pointed out to me, it was a big advantage to be on the fence that day and he found the fast lane. Beat Le Bon disappointed in Group Two company since, albeit in a muddling run race. He’ll go back from the wide draw.

12. NEVER NO MORE
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Pierre-Charles Boudot

Never No More wins at
Leopardstown. (Pic: Patrick McCann / Racing Post)

Aidan O’Brien’s runner. Two back this son of No Nay Never ran in the Secretariat in the States, a race the champion Irish trainer has used as a springboard to Australia in the past with success, namely with Adelaide and Highland Reel. Never No More was disappointing in running fifth, with the market ($5.50) expecting much more. He was pocketed away on the fence but the quinella came from behind him and beat him easily. He bounced back last start to run second to Sir Dancealot. The draw should see star French hoop Pierre-Charles Boudot settle Never No More midfield or potentially even a touch closer. The best of the three foreign raiders.

 

 

13. I AM SUPERMAN
Trainer: Michael O’Callaghan
Jockey: Leigh Roche

Ran third at Group Three level over the mile last start beaten two lengths by Madhmoon. Why that reference is significant is because Never No More beat Madhmoon by half a length in the 2000 Guineas Trial back in April. So on face value, Never No More has I Am Superman covered but as we know with form, it’s never quite as simple as that. Again deferring to Andrew Hawkins, he suggested Madhmoon had improved since his second to Never No More when he beat I Am Superman. Michael O’Callaghan’s galloper did beat home Circus Maximus on debut as a two-year-old and ran sixth in a Group One at $67 despite not being suited by the way the race was run (Phoenix Of Spain led all the way). He’ll likely go back from the gate.

14. SUNLIGHT
Trainer: Tony and Calvin McEvoy
Jockey: Luke Currie

Could be wrong but just can’t see her running a strong 1500m. The argument is, however, that you need a 1400m horse to win over six furlongs up the Flemington straight and Sunlight has won two Group Ones over the Flemington 1200m. That doesn’t include two starts back when beating Santa Ana Lane in the G2 Gilgai. She’ll need to get complete control from in front to finish thereabouts as we saw her pack up in The TAB Everest having trailed a hot speed set by Nature Strip, to finish 10th. Of the three Everest contenders, she’s the one the market is opposing and rightly so. She is a gutsy mare and won two races as a two-year-old at Rosehill before running third in the Golden Slipper but a win here appears very unlikely.

15. ARCADIA QUEEN
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: James McDonald

Arcadia Queen (Pic: Steve Hart)

It’s hard to say what we learnt from The TAB Everest when it comes to Arcadia Queen. She settled fifth in the run, travelled sweetly into the straight but found nothing when asked to quicken. Was it just a flat spot? We were robbed of finding that out as she soon after was squeezed out before being eased down. The excuse was that she settled too close but in the Theo Marks she settled third, and blew her rivals away. Deploy ran along at a good clip in that too. Sure, not quite to the level of Nature Strip but there are similarities to be drawn. Certainly the 1500m is what she’ll want now third up given what she did in WA out in trip. Back to Rosehill, over this distance and given what we know she is capable of, desperately want to give her another chance. Always forgive a good horse one bad run but the odds will be the determining factor there. Will need $4.

16. MIZZY
Trainer: Anthony Cummings
Jockey: Jason Collett

Anthony Cummings’ mare had the picket fence going into Silver Eagle where she ran a typically honest third. She was well beaten by The Inevitable and Fasika, holding off Madam Rouge, last Saturday’s winner of the G3 Nivison. That’s probably an accurate reflection of where she sits on the pecking order going into Saturday. You know what you get with Mizzy. She’ll bounce out and put herself in the first couple. She looks set to lead up the early stages but could hand up to Sunlight and Brutal to take the drag. In her Sheraco and Golden Pendant wins she went straight to the front, stacked her rivals up and sprinted for home. She’ll run well, it’s the only way she knows, but would be surprised if she won.

17. FASIKA
Trainer: Joe Pride
Jockey: Rachel King

The market has completely brushed this mare since finals fields on Tuesday and not sure why. Joe Pride’s lightly-raced mare was brave first up in the Sheraco, having covered ground throughout, going down to Mizzy. It was then a month between runs before she ran second to The Inevitable in the Silver Eagle. The winner had her measure late but there was 0.2 lengths between them at this finish (beating the rest easily) and there was just as little between them in the market. Now one start later Fasika is double the odds of The Inevitable. Suspect there will a spot for her one out one back if Rachel King, who rode her last start, is positive in the early stages. She’ll get her chance from there. She can win.

TIPS
1. BRUTAL
15. ARCADIA QUEEN
2. THE INEVITABLE
3. KOLDING

Check out the form and replays for Saturday's Golden Eagle.

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