Doncaster Mile winner Brutal's spring campaign might be shortened to just two runs with the budding stallion's preparation delayed by a virus.
Part-owner Rupert Legh said the new $7.5 million Golden Eagle in Sydney on November 2 now loomed as the major target for the horse following the setback, which he described as minor but enough to force a spring rethink.
"He came back in really good form and he had just a minor hiccup - in that I mean he had one of little colds that so many horses are having in Sydney - and we just had a week or so to get over a few sniffles," Legh said.
"But he's back ion full training again. We haven't lost much (time) at all.
"It was only a minor setback, there was nothing physical. It was more just one of those sniffles that a lot of horses in Sydney at the moment.
"You are better off having it now rather than halfway through a prep."
Legh said the delay in Brutal's training meant the Golden Eagle for four-year-olds over 1500 metres at Rosehill was now the Group 1 winner's major spring goal and that he has no doubt the horse can achieve it.
"I know you hear it too often, but he has come back bigger and stronger and his temperament hasn't varied at all since we put him out for a spell so there's a lot of hype and excitement around seeing Brutal back on the track," he added.
"I'd say you probably won't see him until late September but we only really want to have one run before he goes into the Golden Eagle and that will more than likely be it for him.
"The autumn has got some great races for him, but we'd love to pick up a Golden Eagle on the way through."
Brutal may not be Legh's only Golden Eagle contender this spring as the race is also being targeted by his progressive galloper Buffalo River.
Brutal and Glen Boss winning the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m), picture Sportpix.com.au