Japanese import Brave Smash is expected to produce a better performance and repair his reputation in Saturday’ Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick after working well at his Newcastle base this morning.

Brave Smash, above, is expected to be back to his best for the 2018 All Aged Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Brave Smash, above, is expected to be back to his best for the 2018 All Aged Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The Darren Weir trained Brave Smash disappointed connections last start with a lacklustre seventh to Trapeze Artist in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) on day one of The Championships at Randwick on April 7, but Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett said that the five year old can do better.

Brave Smash, who raced in the Australian Bloodstock blue and white colours, did have some back concerns when he cooled down after the T J Smith Stakes, but Lovett said that has been rectified and the stallion did work well at Newcastle.

“We went into the race probably as confident as I’ve heard Darren Weir talk about the horse,” Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett said on RSN.

“It was all a bit of a head-scratcher.”

“He was a little bit scratchy (after the race). He saw a chiropractor during the week and he was a bit sore in his back.”

“He galloped this morning on the course proper at Newcastle and his work was as good as you’d hope.”

“We are just hoping he had an excuse (last start) and we go into the All Aged on Saturday now holding our breath…but if he finds his form from his previous two runs he’ll be right in the race.

“The way he worked up this morning I’d be shocked if he didn’t run a race on Saturday.”

Brave Smash has performed fairly consistently since arriving at Weir’s Ballarat stables from Japan and produced two wins and only missed a place twice from nine starts on Australian soil.

Brave Smash was able to win the Listed $120,000 Bendigo Bank Stakes (1200m) at The Valley in September last year, two runs prior to finishing third to Redzel in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.

Following a short break, Brave Smash resumed for the Autumn and at his third run back was able to breakthrough for a Group 1 win, beating his stablemate Tosen Stardom in the $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

Brave Smash then went down by a nose behind Redkirk Warrior when he flashed home to run second in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10.

Weir has also nominated the Australian Bloodstock’s European import Red Cardinal who hasn’t appeared since pulling up sore after finishing eleventh to Rekindling in the 2017 Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.

T J Smith Stakes winner Trapeze Artist has been installed the $2.50 favourite for the All Aged Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Brave Smash and the Kris Lees trained Le Romain who share the second line of betting at $7.50.

Early betting for the 2018 All Aged Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.50 Trapeze Artist, $7.50 Brave Smash, Le Romain, $9 Hartnell, $12 Showtime, Tom Melbourne, $16 Muraajeb, The Mission, $17 Clearly Innocent, It’s Somewhat, $26 Endless Drama, Heavens Above, Satono Rasen, $35 Fell Swoop, $51 So Si Bon, $61 Limbo Soul, Red Cardinal.

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