What can only be described as a dismal turnout for the $200,000 Australia Stakes, Friday night could be saved by Brave Smash.
The former Japanese thoroughbred adds some excitement to the field of six, which consists of only three runners not trained by Darren Weir.
Despite the small field, punters will get their first chance to see Brave Smash in action this campaign after the five-year-old was last seen finishing third in The Everest behind Redzel.
Darren Weir Racing manager Jeremy Rogers has been pleased with the work from Brave Smash since its run at Randwick in October.
“He had a break for about a month and then we bought him back into work,” Rogers told justhorseracing.com.au. “His work has been really good leading up to Friday night.”
Rogers was shocked to see a lack of nominations for the group 2 race at Moonee Valley on Friday night and the stable was forced to nominate two other runners to make up numbers.
“I was very surprised to be honest. We have a couple of horses in there and any other year, we probably wouldn’t have nominated them,” he said.
“Come nomination time there was talk about being only four runners in the field, so we put them (Ken’s Dream, Stellar Collision) in as well.”
Brave Smash scored his only Australian win at Moonee Valley, but Rogers doesn’t believe the talented entire is a horses-for-courses type.
“He’s been beaten by Redzel in The Everest and Vega Magic at Caulfield, so I don’t think he has an appreciation with Moonee Valley, it was just how it worked out that day,” Rogers explained.
“He’ll improve on what he does on Friday night, but we’re happy with him leading into the race.”
The Futurity Stakes (February 24) could be next on the cards following Friday night for Brave Smash, but a return trip to Randwick for The Everest could be in doubt.
“He’ll probably run in the Futurity Stakes next and anything after that is up in the air,” Rogers said. “He might go to Sydney.
“He’s still a colt so we will try win a group 1 with him. If he wins a group 1 in the autumn, he might be off to stud.”
Craig Williams takes the ride on Friday night and there are plenty of punters hoping the champion jockey doesn’t put Brave Smash into a pocket.
— 🏇🏿Weekend King Racing (@WeekendKingRace) January 24, 2018
They are in two different worlds. If Williams keeps Brave Smash off the rails it will shit in
— Craig Butler (@butlerh101) January 24, 2018