JARROD McLean will make a flying visit to Sydney to oversee the final preparations of Brave Smash before the Japanese bred stallion runs in the $13 million Everest at Randwick on Saturday.
McLean, stable foreman for the powerful Darren Weir satellite operation in Warrnambool, has helped prepare Brave Smash for the richest turf race in the world and is confident the six-year-old stallion will be competitive in the highly publicised race over 1200 metres.
“Brave Smash ran third in the inaugural running of the Everest last year,” he said. “We never had him for long before he ran in last year’s Everest. He’s been in work for a while for Saturday’s race.
“He was a quirky sort of horse when he originally came here but now he’s really good. I think he’s better than last year. He’ll appreciate the wet track at Randwick.
“I’ll be flying up on Saturday morning and will be back Saturday night. It’s a rushed trip because we’re really busy with all the big feature races in Melbourne.”
Promising galloper Native Soldier is one of 17 runners that line up for the Weir’s Warrnambool stable at Caulfield - when the three-year-old runs in the $2 million Caulfield Guineas over 1600 metres.
“We’ve been really happy with Native Soldier’s campaign,” McLean said. “He’s an exciting type of colt. He’s won two of his last three and had excuses the day he got beat. He’s drawn a good barrier.
“The big question mark is if he’ll run out a strong 1600 metres if he does I think he can win but The Autumn Sun trained by Chris Waller is the measuring stick in the race.”
Star gallopers Humidor and Tosen Basil represent the Warrnambool yard in the $1 million Ladbroke Stakes, while veteran galloper Black Heart Bart, Land Of Plenty and Cliff’s Edge are contenders in the $500,000 Toorak Handicap for Victoria’s leading trainer.
Substantial, trained by Aaron Purcell in Warrnambool, makes her debut in a $120,000 two-year-old fillies race.