Brave Smash (JPN) must find four lengths
Brave Smash (JPN) needs to find four lengths to match it with Australia's elite sprinters in The Everest (1200m) according to Racing Victoria's chief handicapper Greg Carpenter.
Carpenter was pleased to see the Darren Weir-trained import break his Australian maiden at The Valley on Saturday, impressed with the tough manner of the victory - the former Japanese galloper was ridden out of the gates to settle three-wide on the speed before kicking clear on the turn to overhaul stablemate El Divino.
But he said Brave Smash would need to improve further to match it with Australia's highest-rated sprinter Chautauqua in races like The Everest and the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) this spring.
Carpenter assessed Brave Smash's Chandler Macleod Stakes (1200m) win with an international rating of 108, identical to the five-year-old's career-high mark in Japan, but still well below the 122 mark achieved by Chautauqua in winning the G1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) earlier this year.
Brave Smash (JPN) winning at The Valley, picture Sportpix.com.au
"I think from an Everest point of view he'd have to improve a number of lengths on what he did on Saturday," Carpenter said.
"When he ran first-up behind Vega Magic in the Regal Roller Stakes I had him running to about 106 and he was 108 in Japan and that was back in March when he ran close-up in a Group 3 sprint race over 1200m.
"I feel he's run to that (108) again on Saturday in the Chandler Macleod Stakes but the difference between 108 and a horse like Chautauqua at 122 is more than four lengths, which he is going to have to make up to be right at that elite level, whether it be in The Everest or a race like the Darley Classic."
Speaking after Saturday's win, Weir was adamant there was further improvement to come in Brave Smash this preparation and suggested he would produce his best when ridden more conservatively.
The Australian Bloodstock-owned galloper was one of five horses shortlisted by the ATC last week to potentially utilise their slot in the $10 million sprint at Randwick on October 14.