Brave Smash, right, beating Tosen Stardom in the Futurity Stakes. Picture: AAPn Bloodstock director Luke Murrell believes Brave Smash has the measure of Newcastle-trained In Her Time and that he can turn the tables on Redzel in the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
And connections, including Newcastle’s Paul and Karen Davis,are putting their money where their mouth is.
Brave Smash is one of three group 1 hopes for the Hunter syndication company at Randwick on Saturday.Tosen Stardom will contest the $3 million Doncaster Mile and Furore is second favourite for the $2 million n Derby (2400m).
While the other two are hitting their target races, Brave Smash has changed direction from the Doncaster to the TJ Smith and connections have had to pay a $55,000 late entry fee.
Brave Smash, second in the group 1 Newmarket (1200m) last start at Flemington,was $8 with TAB Fixed Odds for the TJ Smith behind Everest champion Redzel ($2.50) and the Ben Smith-trained In Her Time ($4.60).The Japanese import was third in the Everest (1200m) last October but connections were eyeing the Doncaster, especially after his group 1 Futurity Stakes win over 1400m on February 24.
“The plan was always that we were going to the Doncaster,” Murrell said.
“The Newmarket was a bit of an afterthought because he went so good in the Futurity, and then when he went so well in the Newmarket we thought we’d stick with what we know.He’s done well over 1200 at Randwick in the Everest and we believe he’s goinga lot better now, so we thought we’d have a crack.
“It’s all about making him a stallion with more of that group 1 prizemoney.
“My gut feel is that we’ll beat In Her Time and I think we can beat Redzel.”
Darren Weir-trained stablemate Tosen Stardom was a $26 chance for the Doncaster, which looks likely to feature Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ Invincible Gem, Prized Icon and Clearly Innocent.
Second to Brave Smash in the Futurity, two-time group 1 winner Tosen Stardom was a shock last in the Blamey Stakes on March 17. Murrell, though, was hopeful that a tongue-tie problem was to blame and the stud-bound seven-year-old entire could bounce back at Randwick.
He believed Tosen Stardom’s career-best effort would win the Doncaster.
“They thinkhe lost it in the run or it didn’t work properly, and that upset him,” he said of the tongue tie.
”And if you forget the last run, his run when second to Brave Smash was excellent.”
The Lees-trained Furore won four straight before an unlucky third in the Rosehill Guineas on stakes debuton March 24. He was $7 for the Derby.
“If he runs up to his run the other day, he’ll go close,” Murrell said.“If he hadn’t had so many runs this prep, I’d be extremely confident.”
Meanwhile, Murrell said Japanese importDanon Liberty has suffered aminor setback and will not feature in the Sydney autumn.
In other news, n Bloodstock have bought an agistment farm at Yarramalong on the Central Coast they plan to turn into a pre-training facility.