Just nine initial entries for Australia Stakes as noms extended

Brave Smash
Brave Smash (JPN) after winning the Strathmore Community Bendigo Bank Stakes at Moonee Valley Racecourse on September 09, 2017 in Moonee Ponds, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Japanese import Brave Smash headlines the Group 2 Australia Stakes nominations which have been extended.

The Darren Weir-trained entire Brave Smash’s first Australian racing preparation culminated in his third to Redzel and Vega Magic in the $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick in October at his most recent start.

Along with Brave Smash Weir also has Ken’s Dream and Stellar Collision among the nine nominations taken on Monday , while other entries for Friday night’s 1200m weight-for-age sprint at Moonee Valley includes Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes runner-up Mr Sneaky, Sydney mare Flippant and Tasmanian gelding Tshahitsi.

Entries have been extended until Tuesday morning.

The Lindsay Park stable of trainers David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig have lightly raced four-year-old entire Thronum scheduled to run in the Australia Stakes for the first time since his third in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown in November.

Thronum was a Listed winner and Group 3 placegetter at three when trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

He had a year off recovering from a tendon injury before winning easily at Bendigo at his first start for Lindsay Park at the start of November before his close third in the Kevin Heffernan.

Dabernig believes Thronum is capable of measuring up.

“I think he is, if you watch his run at Sandown,” Dabernig said.

“He was in the deep end in that race, and I suppose if he runs well on Friday night there’s options of autumn Group races for him.

“He stayed in work the whole time so he’s had that long base.”

Three of the horses nominated for the Australia Stakes are among the 13 nominations for Saturday’s Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, with entries for that race also extended until Tuesday.

Tshahitsi, Wyndspelle and Chamois Road are nominated for both races.

The Patrick Payne-trained Chamois Road, who has been placed in the Standish Handicap and Chester Manifold Stakes at his past two starts, was one of two Australia Stakes nominations to gallop at Moonee Valley on Monday morning.

The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Flippant had a solo hit-out at Moonee Valley.