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Barbaric Lad to test his spring hopes

A slightly smaller field along with a middle barrier draw is expected to suit the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Barbaric Lad in his first Group 1 assignment. 

Sam Freedman has plenty of time for the colt by Brutal who will be having his first attempt at 1600m when he runs in the J J Atkins at Eagle Farm on Saturday. 

Barbaric Lad will be having just his fifth start on Saturday and his third in Queensland of the winter carnival when he tackles the likes of Broadsiding, Zouna, Bittercreek and China Sea. 

At his most recent outing, Barbaric Lad finished sixth to Broadsiding in the Group 2 Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 1. The track that day was rated in the soft range, but most participants considered the ground to be heavier than that. 

Freedman is looking forward to seeing Barbaric Lad stepping up to 1600m on Saturday and believes the colt can be a Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) contender in the spring, and if not, a Guineas contender of some manner, be that the Australian or Randwick in the autumn. 

"He ran well the other day in what was a messy race," Freedman said. "He's a nice horse. He'll be a proper Guineas horse and I have no doubt he'll get to the grade. 

"This is a good prep to harden him up and get him ready, and I think the Caulfield Guineas could be the right race. 

"Saturday will be the test for him at the mile, but I think a quieter ride will suit on Saturday. He's been ridden a little close and out of his comfort zone." 

Luke Currie retains the ride on Saturday with the pair to jump from barrier eight. 

The James Cummings-trained Broadsiding, who will be reunited with James McDonald for Saturday's race, is the $1.90 top elect after drawing barrier two. There is then a gap in the market with the Annabel Neasham-trained Aemelius the second pick at $8.50, ahead of Imperialist (NZ) at $10.

Imperialist (green, white and black colours) has a $10 quote for Saturday's Group 1 feature; picture Racing Queensland/Michael McInally

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