All-Star trio resume in Australia Stakes

3 min read

By Bren O'Brien

The autumn campaigns of a trio of Group 1 winners get underway in what looms as an intriguing renewal of the G2 Mortimer Petroleum Australia S at Moonee Valley.

Brave Smash (Jpn) (Tosen Phantom {GB}), Redkirk Warrior (GB) (Notnowcato {GB}) and Land of Plenty (Stratum) are all on a path towards the inaugural All-Star Mile on March 16 and bring the class element to the 1200m weight-for-age race.

Michael Walker takes the ride aboard Brave Smash for the first time ever, as he steps out at the track and distance where the Japanese import won the G1 Manikato S. back in October.

It is most likely to be the final campaign for the dual Group 1 winner, who is set to stand at Aquis Farm in 2019 but given he has not won in seven first-up starts, more is expected of him later this campaign.

Brave Smash

Redkirk Warrior has raced all around the world but only once at Moonee Valley when second on his Australian debut back in 2016. Rather than being aimed at a third straight G1 Newmarket Hcp, his target is the $5m All-Star Mile, but he was sharp enough to easily win a recent Flemington jumpout and has been a four-time winner first-up, twice at Group 1 level.

Land of Plenty emerged as a top-quality miler last spring, winning the G1 Toorak Hcp, but he was a winner over the 1200m at Moonee Valley earlier in that campaign at Listed level. He made such significant improvement through the spring that it wouldn't surprise to see him be more than competitive here.

The word from his trainer is that he may need the run and that stablemate Whispering Brook (Hinchinbrook), with the benefit of a couple of runs under her belt, should prove hard to run down.

She won the G3 Standish Hcp last time out and did win over this track and distance at Listed level last March.

Fell Swoop (Not A Single Doubt) is another 1200m Valley winner who has fitness on his side, having secured a Listed win last month at Randwick before running third to Alizee last time out.

Malaguerra (Magnus) won this race two years ago and he is a two-time Group 1 winner, who resumes off his good third in the G1 Winterbottom S. in early December, where he beat one of his rivals here in Runson (Delzao).

Runson has had the advantage of a bridging run when third in the Listed Christmas S. and did set a new track record over the 1200m at this track back in October, winning an open handicap by nearly five lengths.