The Darren Weir stable is keen on the first up chances of Japanese import Brave Smash who draw barrier two in the six horse field for the 2018 Group 2 $200,000 Carlton Draught Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Friday night.
Brave Smash will be having his first run back since finishing a handy third behind Redzel and Vega Magic in the augural running of the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 and rounded off his preparation for the Australia Stakes with a second in a jump out at Camperdown on Monday morning.
Stable foreman Jarrod McLean said that the Japanese sprinter would take plenty of benefit out of Friday night’s run but added that he will still be very hard to beat first up.
“He is a real exciting young horse, going really well,” McLean told racing.com.
“We had him pretty forward first up at Caulfield last time where he ran terrific, just got beat behind the Group 1 winner of Hayes’.”
“He will go to the races on Friday night with plenty of improvement to come but will be mighty hard to hold out.”
Brave Smash has had four runs for Weir since arriving in Australia and was narrowly beaten at his first run for the stable when second to Vega Magic in the Listed $120,000 Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield at the beginning of the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The five year old import then won the Listed $120,000 Strathmore Community Bendigo Bank Stakes (1200m) at The Valley followed by a second to Bons Away in the Listed $120,000 Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield before heading to Sydney for The Everest.
Top Melbourne jockey Craig Williams takes over from Irishman Jamie Spencer on Brave Smash, who is one of three runners Weir will saddle up in the weight for age Australia Stakes.
Dean Yendall stick with Stellar Collision who has drawn the rails while apprentice Ben Allen has retained the mount on last start Flemington winner Ken’s Dream who will jump from gate five.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Flippant will jump from the outside gate in the small field with Ben Melham in the saddle while Mark Zahra rides Thronum (barrier 3) for the Lindsay Park Team and Brenton Avdulla takes the reins on the Anthony Freedman trained Mr Sneaky.
Final field for the 2018 Australia Stakes (1200m)
|#||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x344x2123x||BRAVE SMASH (JPN)||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||2||58.5kg||107|
|2||1275537×51||KEN’S DREAM||Darren Weir||Ben Allen (a)||5||58.5kg||90|
|3||4110208×61||STELLAR COLLISION||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||1||58.5kg||95|
|4||3311x1220x||MR SNEAKY||Anthony Freedman||Brenton Avdulla||4||58.5kg||99|
|5||121306x13x||THRONUM||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Mark Zahra||3||58.5kg||88|
|6||0533x536x2||FLIPPANT||Peter & Paul Snowden||Ben Melham||6||56.5kg||101|