Japanese import Brave Smash has broken through for a maiden win at the highest level in this afternoon’s Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The Tosen Phantom entire experienced a meteoric rise to prominence in his first Australian campaign last spring and it only appeared a matter of time until he was able to claim a Group 1 crown.
Brave Smash was sent off a $4.80 favourite in the Futurity Stakes after flying home for third in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes over course and distance and fortnight ago, and did his chances of justifying the tag no harm when jumping well and taking a position on the heels of early leader Showtime.
Jockey Craig Williams was riding for luck on the fence when the field turned for home, but was patient on the horse and was greeted with a huge turn of foot when the gap came as Brave Smash comfortably closed out the race by a length from stable mate Tosen Stardom ($6).
Williams delivered a typically great ride aboard Brave Smash to win the Futurity Stakes and was thrilled with the horse’s performance.
“It was great,” Williams said.
“Brave Smash gave me a beautiful ride and I think they’ve got great options with him.
“Darren Weir was really confident and he was very dominant today – he won cheekily and cute and he really did give me a great feel. That will just give him confidence and he’s got serious ability.
“That acceleration – wow. I just had so much horse for a long period of the race and just needed something to happen. We he saw the gap, he just took it straight away and within three strides I pressed the button with him.
“He quickened again and when he got to the post he just sat up and posed for the photo, which is just great at weight-for-age Group 1 level.”
Darren Weir saddled three runners to first, second and fourth in the Futurity Stakes as Humidor also flew home to complete an eye-catching first-up performance, and the master trainer was pleased with the result.
“Obviously he put the writing on the wall last start and he carried that form here today,” Weir said.
“He got a great ride, he pinged him out of the gates and got in and obviously it was good when that horse crossed him and he got a bit of cover, and then he just needed luck.
“We felt we had the horse in the right order and just needed a bit of luck from that gate, and Craig took the luck out of it obviously.
“He’ll run a mile, a mile will be even better.”
Weir said that the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington will be the next target for all three of his Futurity Stakes runners, before travelling north for major Sydney Autumn Carnival targets.
“Tosen Stardom will head to the Blamey Stakes and then up to Sydney for the mile race (Doncaster Mile) and I guess Brave Smash will do the same thing,” he said.
“They’re all going on the same path actually.”