Victoria’s premiership winning trainer Darren Weir has dominated the nominations for the Group 2 $200,000 Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Friday night with six of the sixteen entries.
Group 1 winners Brave Smash, Land Of Plenty and Voodoo Lad head the Weir team along with Chauffeur, Fifty Stars and Whispering Brook adding to the attack.
Two times Group 1 winner Brave Smash will be having his first run back since finishing eighth to Santa Ana Lane in Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 10.
At his previous start Brave Smash scored his second win at Group 1 level in the $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes over the same course and distance as the Australia Stakes.
Voodoo Lad has returned from a successful trip to Perth for the Summer Carnival where he took out the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on December 1 while Land Of Plenty will be having his first run back since finishing fourth to Best Of Days in the Group 1 $1m Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington on November 3.
Land Of Plenty proved his Group 1 standings at his previous start with a resounding win in the $500,000 Aquis Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13.
Group 1 winners Malaguerra and Redkirk Warrior are also included in the nominations for the Australia Stakes.
The Peter Gelagotis trained Melaguerra is also returning from the Perth Summer Carnival following his third to Voodoo Lad in the Winterbottom Stakes while the Lindsay Park trained dual Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior hasn’t raced since finishing tenth in the VRC Sprint Classic.
Nominations for the 2019 Australia Stakes (1200m)
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp Rating|
|1||70x332818x||BRAVE SMASH (JPN)||H||6||Darren Weir||114|
|3||80x598x513||FELL SWOOP||G||7||Matthew Dale||–|
|4||1111x2211x||FIFTY STARS (IRE)||H||4||Darren Weir||98|
|5||311x21314x||LAND OF PLENTY||H||5||Darren Weir||110|
|10||x681001021||PRINCESS OF QUEENS||M||5||Mick Price||95|
|11||1x414141x7||PRINCETON SPIRIT (NZ)||G||5||Julius Sandhu||88|
|12||0x11x00x0x||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||G||8||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||–|
|13||818×511303||RUNSON||G||6||Leon & Troy Corstens||98|
|14||511x77027x||VASSILATOR (NZ)||C||3||Colin Little||98|
|15||x001212481||VOODOO LAD||G||7||Darren Weir||–|
|16||60x1415x11||WHISPERING BROOK||M||5||Darren Weir||107|