Championships Beckon For Brutality After Villiers Victory

By Ray Hickson

If Private Eye is his number one Doncaster Mile seed then Joe Pride has found a trusty back up as the emerging Brutality won his way into the 2022 edition via a thrilling victory in the Group 2 $750,000 The Agency Villiers Stakes (1600m).

Trainer Joe Pride (Pic: Bradley Photos)

Pride backed his judgement by running the five-year-old ($5) on three successive Saturdays and he came with a well timed run by jockey Regan Bayliss to run down Ellsberg ($6) by a short neck with 1-1/4 lengths to Criaderas ($11) running on from back into third just ahead of Pride’s Stockman.

It means Pride can plan Brutality’s assault on the $3 million Doncaster Mile on Day 1 of The Star Championships in April.

“It’s a fantastic result, a big effort from the team at home to get him here at his peak today and yeah he gets a spot in the Doncaster,’’ Pride said.

“He’d need a wet track to be really effective in it. One of the same owners Pat Davidson and his wife Bernie they are owners of Private Eye as well so they’ve had a pretty good year.

“That was a fantastic result and the three weeks in a row was obviously the key to this horse getting to this race in peak fitness.”

Pride said while Brutality responded to the busy racing scheduled in recent weeks by settling well, which was key to unleashing his winning burst and praised Bayliss for his timing.

Bayliss, who also rode Private Eye to his Epsom victory plus Never Been Kissed to win the Flight Stakes during Everest Carnival, said Brutality still has the ability to improve enough to be competitive in a Doncaster on his performance on Saturday.

“(He was) Very explosive. He’s had the perfect preparation, he really enjoys the back up this horse, trained by the master Joe Pride, he knows how to get them peaking on the big occasion,” he said.

“He was spot on today, he dropped seven-and-a-half kilos in the weights.

“I was a little bit worried when the track was drying out, but if anything, he showed a better turn of foot on top of the ground today. We had a beautiful run in transit and he put them away accordingly.”

Brutality was $51 with TAB post his Villiers win in the Doncaster Mile market, while Private Eye sits on $15.

Meanwhile, Pride said fourth placed Stockman will return to Randwick on Boxing Day for the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) after the drying track took his advantage out of play.

The win capped a big year for the Pride stable.

Aside from Private Eye’s Epsom win his star sprinter Eduardo won the Galaxy and Doomben 10,000 earlier in the year plus the Classique Legend Stakes and ran third in the TAB Everest.

He’s also in possession of a promising two-year-old Shalatin, runner-up in the $1m Golden Gift, who is being set for the Golden Slipper.

“The autumn looks really good,’’ he said.

“We’ve got the strongest team we’ve ever had going into a carnival and you know you need luck in that situation but we’re going to put a lot of hard work into it to make sure we are here right through the carnival.

“A lot of hard work goes into it, great support from my owners, a lot of hard work from my team and it culminates into a day like this, it’s just great to be a part of it.”