-->

Trainer Darren Weir believes Brave Smash is set to carry his Manikato Stakes winning form into Saturday’s Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington.

Brave Smash, above winning the Manikato Stakes, will line up in the VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Brave Smash, above winning the Manikato Stakes, will line up in the VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Brave Smash returned to the winner’s stall on a good track with a flying finish to win the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on October 26 after failing to handle the wet conditions when eighth to Redzel in the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick two weeks earlier.

The Flemington track for Saturday is rated a Good 4 and Weir is certain that Brave Smash will run another bold race on top of the ground.

“He is going well, he was back to his best on good ground in the Manikato and has drawn the right spot to position himself to run well again,” Weir wrote in his Racenet column.

“All I can say is he’s going as good as he was when he won at The Valley.”

Brave Smash has raced once down the Flemington straight for a nose second to Redkirk Warrior in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington during the 2018 Melbourne Autumn Carnival and the six year old sprinter will jump from barrier ten in the fourteen horse VRC Sprint Classic field with Craig Williams taking over the reins from the suspended Hugh Bowman.

Betting for the VRC Sprint Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au has Brave Smash marked at $15 while the dual Everest winner and last year’s Sprint Classic winner Redzel sits at the top of the market order at $5.

Redzel has drawn barrier eight with regular rider, Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy, in the saddle again.

The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel relished the heavy Randwick track in winning his second Everest but also won last year’s VRC Sprint Classic, when it was known as the Darley Classic, on a good rated surface.

Pierata is on the second line of betting at $6 and will jump from gate three and will be ridden again by Tommy Berry who was aboard the Greg Hickman trained sprinter for his last start win in the Group 3 $500,000 Camera House Sydney Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Everest Day.

The James Cummings trained Kementari is also well fancied in the betting at $6.50 and will jump from barrier nine with Glyn Schofield in the saddle again.

Kementari lost contact with the leaders when he settled near the tail of the field before rattling home for third in the Manikato Stakes.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.