Brawn to strong arm competition
Gary Subratie's United States-bred BRAWN has an outstanding chance to get it right in tomorrow's restricted stakes at a mile, going up against old local-bred rivals SOUTHERN CRUISE and ORIGINAL TRAIN.
Though he has shown significant improvement in pace since fitted with a visor for his last three races, BRAWN has also come up against tough horses such as improved LONG RUNNING TRAIN, speedy POKER STAR and HOUDINI'S MAGIC, who caught him stealing home on last.
The three-year-old colt ran out of steam inside the final half furlong, going 1820 metres, and was overhauled by a very fit HOUDINI'S MAGIC before being touched off at the wire for second by ORIGINAL TRAIN with whom he had raced as a team from down the backstretch.
Regular rider Omar Walker has been replaced by Aaron Chatrie, possibly at the request of the BRAWN's connections, considering the four-time champion rider was aboard for the colt's last 10 races.
Regardless of which jockey is aboard, BRAWN should use his new found pace to stay ahead of ORIGINAL TRAIN, who will also have a new rider, Dane Nelson, instead of Wesley Henry, who has the leg up astride expected leader PIZARRO.
ORIGINAL TRAIN, however, has picked up three pounds for the neck he had poked in front BRAWN at the wire last time out.
BRAWN had dismissed his challenge in the stretch run and only lost second in the last hop. Returning at the shorter distance, BRAWN should have the measure of ORIGINAL TRAIN.
SOUTHERN CRUISE ran a creditable fifth in the Superstakes behind FRANFIELD and is actually down in class from grade one.
However, the quicker pace at a mile and post-position one could be his undoing.
Though he had beaten BRAWN at 1500 metres in August, SOUTHERN CRUISE was held by the imported colt when Subratie fitted the visor and they met in the Royal Dad Trophy won by LONG RUNNING TRAIN.
BRAWN has a decent draw, post-position eight, in the 10-horse field, which should give Chatrie a good view of his main danger, ORIGINAL TRAIN, allowing him to time his run leaving the half mile from where he should be good enough to hold the local-bred at bay when he comes calling in the stretch run.