By Ray Hickson
Japanese sprinter Brave Smash has a second chance to scale The Everest in 2018 thanks to an imposing partnership between the nation’s two leading trainers.
The Darren Weir-trained sprinter, who ran third behind Redzel in the inaugural Everest, will chase the lion’s share of the $13 million prizemoney in the Chris Waller Racing slot.
Waller reached an agreement with Australian Bloodstock, Brave Smash’s managing owners, to lock the entire in early so Weir can prepare the horse specifically for the race on October 13.
“We are in a very fortunate position to hold a slot and be in a position to showcase the stable’s best sprinter when the time is right, however when the opportunity to have a horse of the calibre of Brave Smash represent the slot for my shareholders it was a straight forward decision,’’ Waller said.
“We have a horse who has been proven in the best company of sprinters since arriving in Australia a little over 12 months ago and I have a huge amount of respect for Australian Bloodstock who are industry leaders in targeting and importing tried international horses”.
Waller teamed with fellow trainer Gerald Ryan in The Everest in 2017 running Deploy, who was one of the in-form sprinters at the time.
Brave Smash is the fourth horse confirmed for the 2018 edition alongside reigning champ Redzel, boom colt Trapeze Artist and outstanding mare In Her Time.
The rising six-year-old is a $15 chance in TAB’s All-in market for The Everest.
Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett is adamant Brave Smash deserves another chance in Australia’s richest race after running third in the Australian Turf Club’s slot last year.
Since last spring, Brave Smash has won the Group 1 Futurity Stakes and placed in both the Orr Stakes and Newmarket Handicap at the highest level.
“This year he is a Group 1 winner, with form around the best sprinters in the world,’’ Lovett said.
“Darren Weir was very keen to secure a slot early this year and target the race. To be given the opportunity to represent Hall of Fame trainer Chris Waller and his partners in their slot is a huge thrill.
“The Everest race has already captured the attention of trainers and connections all over the world.
“It is something that our connections are very keen to be part of. We are very thankful and excited to now have that chance again.’’