Australian Bloodstock's Japanese-Breds Go 1-2 in Futurity
Mark Smith - Saturday February 24

Saturday's $500,000 Group 1 Italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield proved a triumph for Australian Bloodstock with their Japanese-bred pair Brave Smash (JPN) and Tosen Stardom (JPN) fighting out the finish.

Champion trainer Darren Weir won the Futurity last year with Black Heart Bart and this must have been an easy watch as Brave Smash (JPN), under an inspired ride by Craig Williams, defeated Tosen Stardom (JPN) by three-quarters of a length with Showtime a half-neck away in third. (photos Grant Courtney ). 

Weir's third runner Humidor finished strongly into fourth place.

It was first Group 1 win for the heavily backed Brave Smash (JPN), which Weir said was of vital importance to a prospective stallion career.

"They're very well-bred horses and well-performed horses when you get them so you need to get the results on the board," Weir said.

"Both horses have now done it so I guess it's a huge thrill and a huge relief but a huge thrill as well.

"He put the writing on the board last start and he carried that form here today.

"He got a lovely ride, got a bit of cover and just needed to get a bit of luck.

"It was a huge relief to win two Group 1's last spring Tosen Stardom and to get a Group 1 with Brave Smash is a great result for everyone."

Weir said all three Brave Smash, Tosen Stardom and Humidor would follow similar paths, the Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on March 17 before heading to Sydney for the Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 7.

It was a third Futurity for Craig Williams who won back to back on Niconero (2008-09).

"He gave me a beautiful ride, I think they have great options with him, Williams said."

"Darren was really confident with him. (Australian Bloodstock) have been great supporters. We thought we would have a big spring with Admire Deus."

"He was very dominant today. He won cheekily, he won cute and he really gave me a great feel."

Brave Smash becomes the first Group 1 winner for his sire Tosen Phantom(JPN) a stakes-winning son of the Sunday Silence stallion Neo Universe.

The dam of Brave Smash, Token Smash (Tokai Teio), is a winning half-sister to multiple stakes winner Tosen Jo O (Timber Country).

More Reading...
Juvenile Trial Watch – Randwick
Four heats for juveniles at the Randwick barrier trials on Tuesday morning were won by the progeny of Snitzel, Exceed and Excel, Hinchinbrook and I Am Invincible with the full brother to Merchant Navy also stepping out for his first trial.
Level Pegging
The massive prizemoney on races such as The Everest, Melbourne Cup and Golden Eagle tends to skew the Australian General Sires List heavily in the favour of sires that produce winners of those races, so a more accurate gauge as to just which stallions have had a good spring carnival comes with a look at the leading sires by stakes-winners list.
Zoustar Heads Roster at Tweenhills Stud
Exciting Australian sire Zoustar will head the roster at Tweenhills Stud in Gloucestershire next year when he makes his second shuttle trip from Widden Stud to the northern hemisphere.
Kiwi Star Madison County Bound for USA
Multiple New Zealand Group One winner Madison County will continue his career in North America with trainer Chad Brown as he plays a trail-blazing role for his owners. 
A Hometown Win for Declaration Of War's Vow And Declare in Melbourne Cup
For the first time since Shocking ten years ago, an Australian bred, owned and trained horse has fought off the best handicappers from around the world to earn an historic win in the 159th running of the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
Timely Reminder for Upcoming NZB Ready to Run
Melbourne Cup-winning hoop Craig Williams jetted in to Singapore on Sunday to partner Mr Clint for champion trainer Lee Freedman and the combination proved lethal as they snared the spoils in the S$1 million Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2000m).