Australian Bloodstock (AB) director Luke Murrell believes 2017 placegetter Brave Smash “ticks a lot of boxes” for Saturday’s $13 million Everest (1200 metres) at Randwick.
And one was not running on a “rock-hard” Randwick surface in the Premiere Stakes on September 29.
Brave Smash was $13 for the Everest with TAB ahead of the barrier draw on Tuesday night. Hunter-based syndicators AB bought the Japanese entire last year and he ran fourth-up into the Everest as the ATC pick. The $19-shot surprised with a length third from gate nine.
This time the Darren Weir-trained six-year-old has been set for the race after securing the Chris Waller Racing slot and he has finished strongly, about a length away, in three 1000-1100m lead-up sprints. His most recent was a second in the group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley after bypassing the Premiere.
“We might have got a bit lucky with him missing that rock-hard surface the other week in the Premiere,” Murrell said. “That can’t do horses any good when they are running track records by a long way. I think the fifth horse ran a track record.
“He hasn’t had to come through any of that rubbish. We’re going in fourth up and from memory, he’ll be the horse deepest into a prep, so that’s got to help when it’s going to be a tough, testing run, so I think he ticks a lot of boxes. He was third last year and, for mine, I don’t think it’s any stronger than last year, and he’s definitely going better.”
Murrell also had little concern about the barrier draw or the potential for a wet track. Randwick was a Heavy 9 on Monday with predictions of a soft-range surface by Saturday.
“I just wouldn’t want to draw barrier one or two,” Murrell said.
“I think three to six is probably where everyone will be hoping for, but if he drew 12, it wouldn’t be the end of the world with his style because he gets back anyway.
“He’ll go good on a flat track and they are saying down there that on some of the real heavy tracks, he absolutely loves it. I don’t think it matters to him.”
He said Brave Smash was set to back up in the Manikato Stakes and VRC Classic and could head to Hong Kong in December.
AB also have Red Cardinal (St Leger Stakes), Danon Liberty (Craven Plate) and Tactical Advantage (Sydney Stakes) ready to feature on the Everest program.