There has been much consternation over the lack of an international runner for The Everest but slot holders for the $10 million race will be watching a Japanese horse making his Australian debut in the $120,000 Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield today.
Brave Smash is a newcomer to the cosmopolitan Darren Weir stable and is at the centre of a significant betting move since markets went up on Wednesday afternoon.
Originally offered at $8, Brave Smash was crunched into $4.20 on Thursday and last night was pummelled to $3.70.
Winner of his maiden at his fourth start over 1500m, Brave Smash has contested Group and Listed races at his subsequent nine outings. Tested as a stayer in the Japanese Derby, he has been kept to sprint distances since. His most recent outing was in March, when he finished fourth in the Group III Ocean Stakes (1200m) at Nakayama, beaten less than a length. Weir yesterday said Brave Smash had been pleasing the stable with his gallops and there was an air of curiosity about him.
“He’s a nice galloper and he’s trialled up pretty well and we’re looking forward to seeing him run. I reckon we’ll be really happy with the way he runs on his trackwork,” Weir said.
“He gallops like a nice horse. He’s galloped with our better horses and ran well, but it’s a bit of an ask getting him from Japan in the right shape.
“He’s a nice horse with good ability but there is still a bit to come.”
Weir has runners at Caulfield that were bred or have raced in England, France, Japan, New Zealand and Argentina.
Also in The Everest spotlight in the Regal Roller is Vega Magic, winner of The Goodwood last campaign. He resumes carrying 60.5kg.
Chris Waller has shelled out for a slot in The Everest, which remains vacant. Omei Sword needs only to step up on her return from a bleeding attack and win the $150,000 Show County Quality (1200m) to put herself in contention.