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With attributes like precocity, speed, and soundness over several seasons, Brave Smash will forge ahead from the brilliant start he’s made to his stud career as he moves to the Hunter Valley’s Yarraman Park. The dual Gr.1 winning sprinter ticks many boxes, being a fantastic physical type, a tough sprinter, and a valuable outcross.
We are excited to purchase a controlling share in Brave Smash,” said Yarraman Park’s Harry Mitchell. “He’s the only sprinting Japanese horse in Australia and is doing so well early in his stud career. We believe he’s the right horse for us at Yarraman as he’s a powerful compact sprinting type of horse, and we believe he’ll be a major influence on breeding in years to come. We love the toughness of Japanese bred horses, and Brave Smash was an elite racehorse over several seasons, similar to Hellbent. There’s something very appealing about racehorses who improve as older horses, because they show their true class against all comers.”
Brave Smash retired to stud in 2019 as a dual Gr.1 winning sprinter and was quite popular covering 122 mares in his first season at Aquis Farm, and his resulting first crop are two-year-olds in 2022/23. As at 1 May 2023, Brave Smash has fashioned a brilliant start to his stud career with five winners of nine races from only a handful of runners.
Brave Mead (Brave Smash-Mead, by Galileo) was sold as a weanling at the Inglis Digital July Sale by Lustre Lodge for $90,000 to Ciaron Maher Racing. The two-year-old colt won a trial in February, then ran third on debut, before winning his maiden over 1200m in March. He followed this up with a strong win in the Listed Valley Pearl Stakes over 1200m, then struggled in the heavy ground in the Gr.1 Sires’ Produce Stakes. His career record is two wins from four starts with earnings over $140,000.
Kimochi (Brave Smash-Summer Fun, by I Am Invincible) was sold as a weanling through the Inglis Sydney Weanling Sale by Valiant Stud and was purchased by Hall of Fame Bloodstock for $21,000. Second on debut in November, Kimochi returned in the autumn to win first up over 1100m in Sydney in March, and at her third start, she ran third in the Gr.2 Percy Sykes Stakes to take her record to a win and two placings from three starts with earnings over $159,000.
Western Australia’s Brave Halo (Brave Smash-Danish Bingo, by Sebring) won his first three races in succession before running fourth in the Gr.1 Blue Diamond Stakes and Gr3 Blue Diamond Prelude. A Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale graduate, Brave Smash was sold by Willow Park Stud to Hancock Bloodstock for $135,000. His three wins from five starts have earned him over $235,000.
Two-year-old filly Brave Strike (Brave Smash-Taste of Money, by Not A Single Doubt) won on debut, and recently ran fourth in the Gr.2 Karrakatta Plate and second in the Gr.3 WA Sires’ Produce Stakes. Sold twice as a weanling for $6,000 and $25,000, Brave Strike’s four starts have already accumulated earnings over $103,000.
“We really like his whole profile, especially that he’s free of Danehill making him an easy horse for breeders to mate. We’ve got some great partners who’ve joined us in him, and they will support him well, and of course, Brave Smash already has a stakes horse out of a Vinnie mare which is an obvious fit for us.”
Brave Smash suffered a little from second season syndrome, covering 83 mares in 2020 with those horses now yearlings. Four of his yearlings were catalogued at the 2023 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, with all four selling for an average price over $81,000 and a top price of $180,000. His only yearling on offer at the 2023 Inglis Melbourne Yearling Sale sold for $100,000, while the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, he had two colts on offer, with one selling for $140,000 and the other passing in.
In 2021, Brave Smash bounced back a little to cover 109 mares, then in his tricky fourth season before first two-year-olds had faced the starter, Brave Smash covered 89 mares in 2022. The announcement that he will relocate to the Hunter Valley property of Yarraman Park for 2023 comes at the perfect time for him to benefit from his precocious success this season.
That Brave Smash has left some quality juveniles isn’t much of a surprise when his race record and pedigree is analysed. Brave Smash won twice as a two-year-old, once at Listed level, which is impressive given that Japan has only sixteen group or Listed races for two-year-olds on their calendar. At three, like so many colts, he mixed his form. All five of his starts that season were in black type company and he placed twice. Back
at four he had two starts in Japanese stakes races, running fourth in both, before being imported to Australia. In the spring of 2017, he found consistency, with a Listed win and three placings from four starts, including third in The Everest behind Redzel and Vega Magic.
The autumn of 2018 was the moment when Brave Smash delivered. By now, The Everest was the only non-stakes race he’d run in since his maiden win as a two-year-old, and he really hit his straps as a classy sprinter. Brave Smash ran in the three Melbourne Gr.1 sprints that autumn, winning the Futurity and placing in both the CF Orr Stakes (behind Hartnell and Single Gaze) and the Newmarket (behind Redkirk Warrior). Perfectly placed in third on the rail for most of the running during the Gr.1 Futurity Stakes, Brave Smash burst past the leaders in the final 100m to win by half a length.
Back in the spring, he ran second in the Gr.1 AJ Moir Stakes behind Viddora over 1000m, then struggled in the heavy ground during Redzel’s second The Everest, before heading back to Melbourne where he won the Gr.1 Manikato Stakes over 1200m. Brave Smash travelled mid-field for most the race, then dug deep to catch the leaders who all fought hard for the win. Brave Smash stuck his head in front on the post to win, in the quick time of 1:09.36, which was the fastest time set by a colt at the time, and the second fastest time since Miss Andretti won in 1:09.26 in 2006.
He rounded out his competitive Australia sprinting career with a third placing in the Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap behind Sunlight and Osborne Bulls. Sent to Dubai for the Gr.1 Al Quoz Sprint, Brave Smash was retired after a mid-field performance. Brave Smash retired with five wins and 14 placings from 34 starts over five seasons of racing and stood at Queensland’s Aquis Farm.
Brave Smash has a pedigree unfamiliar to Australian breeders, yet this is one of his strengths in a market dominated by Danehill blood. His sire Tosen Phantom (Neo Universe-Birthday Rose, by Tony Bin) somewhat ironically, was the type of racehorse that Australian breeders would’ve flocked to as he was a dual Listed winner at two from only four starts before he retired. His sire, Neo Universe (Sunday Silence) won the Satsuki Sho (Guineas) and Tokyo Yushun (Derby) among his seven wins at two, three, and four. Neo Universe retired to Shadai Stallion Station where he has left 31 stakes winners including Gr.1 winners Victoire Pisa and Neorealism. Raced by Takaya Shimakawa, Tosen Phantom retired to his owner’s private farm and only covered small numbers of mares. His largest book was his second crop in 2012, where he covered 31 mares and one of those matings resulted in Brave Smash. Tosen Phantom has left two stakes winners from only 84 runners, a solid record given his limited opportunities.
Takaya Shimakawa also raced Brave Smash’s dam, Tosen Smash (Tokai Teio-Annus Mirabilis, by Real Shadai) and she was a winner over 1800m. Brave Smash is the best of her four winners, and she is a half-sister to Tosen Jo O who won nine races, six at Listed level, and to Tosen C’Est la Vie who won 13 races and was stakes placed. This is a strong Japanese family which includes Gr.1 winners Daiwa Scarlet, Daiwa Major, and Vermilion. Recent group winner and Gr.1 placed Lilac is also a member of this family.
“Brave Smash is inbred to Northern Taste, who was one of the stallions that set Japanese breeding on the global map,” said Mitchell. Northern Taste (Northern Dancer-Lady Victoria, by Victoria Park) was the Champion Sire in Japan for ten of the eleven years between 1982 and 1992. A stakes winner at two, three, and four, he left 44 stakes winners back when Japan was still emerging as a racing power and had a low percentage of black type races on their calendar compared to other major racing nations. Northern Taste lived until the ripe old age of 33 when he died in 2004.
Northern Taste’s daughters have crossed hugely well with Sunday Silence, with 24 stakes winners bred on the Sunday Silence/Northern Taste cross. Both these crosses already exist in Brave Smash’s paternal pedigree, with Tosen Phantom being a grandson of Sunday Silence, and his dam Birthday Rose (Tony Bin-Elizabeth Rose, by Northern Taste) is bred on the successful Tony Bin/Northern Taste cross that has accounted for six stakes winners from less than 200 runners bred on that cross.
Brave Smash’s family has a build up of Japan’s best sires. His second damsire Real Shadai (Roberto) was Japan’s Champion Sire in 1993 just before the long reign of Sunday Silence. His third damsire is Northern Taste, thus bringing in the 4fx4f cross to the Champion stallion.
It’s very early days for Brave Smash in terms of his stud career, however, his first five two-year-old winners show his potential to work well with the dominant sirelines in Australia. His stakes winner, Brave Mead, is out of a Galileo mare, while his stakes placed winner Kimochi is out of an I Am Invincible mare, while group placed Brave Strike is out of a Not a Single Doubt mare. His other two winners are out of mares by Charge Forward, and Sebring. Similarly with Brave Smash’s sire Tosen Phantom, there are not enough runners to make any statistically predictions on what may work well with him.
Yarraman Park’s acquisition of Brave Smash is astute, as the young stallion looks poised to become a top-class sire. A tough racehorse who won over several seasons and at the highest level, Brave Smash has an outcross pedigree filled with precocity and speed, perfect for Australian conditions. His first crop have been outstanding given his early opportunities, and if they improve like he did as a racehorse, Brave Smash’s career is on an upwards trajectory.