“He gave me that real soft feel. He just felt confident underneath me. There was never a point in the race when I thought I was going to lose.
“He hit a few flat spots on the track but within one stride he came straight back underneath me. He has very good control of his body.”
Boss, who won his sixth Doncaster on a three-year-old, is traditionally a great celebrator, but he had to be on a plane back to Singapore at 7pm. He left that to Michael and Wayne Hawkes and their party of owners with the Doncaster trophy. Boss rode at the lightest he has ridden for 10 years.
“We’re rapt, we flew Bossy in because he was the man that could get to 49.5kg and was the best rider in the Doncaster history,” Michael Hawkes said. “There are so many good blokes in this horse, which makes it better.
“We knew after he was second to Winx that this was the race, but to tell you the truth we had marked it a while ago. He just needed to live up to what quality we knew he had.”
Michael Hawkes and his best mate, owner David Russo, finally had a group 1 to celebrate after eight seconds.
“You start to think you are never going to win one,” Russo said. “When I drew the barrier  I thought ‘not again’.
“But Michael, Wayne and John have always said this would be the horse, and when he loomed up in the straight I couldn’t believe.
“Michael was the best man at my wedding and this is going to be a big party.”
Russo remembered agreeing to buy Brutal at Auckland airport.
“The boys said we have the horse you have to buy but my dad was crook and looked like he was going to die,” Russo said. “I said yes at the airport and went home to see dad. Fortunately, he is still here and he is over the moon as well.”
Another owner, Darren Willis, had his share of group 1 horses but Wayne Hawkes had phoned and told him they wouldn’t be better than Brutal.
“We had a bet about this bloke,” Willis said. “Wayne said we would never have a better horse than this bloke. I have to pay him now.”
Brutal carried the Legh silks of Chautauqua, so famous on this day through his exploits in the TJ Smith. Earlier in the afternoon, Legh and another of Brutal’s owner, Andrew Ramsden, had shared in the success of Santa Ana Lane in the TJ Smith.
The Winx form from the George Ryder Stakes once again prove the strongest guide, with Brutal and Dreamforce filled the placings there before running one-two in the Doncaster.
Dreamforce trainer John Thompson was left flat as his miler struggled in the ground.
“We have run second in the Doncaster but, gee, I wish the track was firm because he would have really let go and given Brutal something to chase,” Thompson said.
Stewards fined Tommy Berry $1000 for using the whip 10 times before the 100 metres on Japanese horse Kluger – five more than allowed. Kluger finished fourth.
Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald