A stakes-winner last season at two, Brave Smash (Jpn) colt Brave Mead was consistent in stakes races during the spring without winning one, but was rewarded for his consistency with a first up victory in the Group III MRC Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Australia Day.

Trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Brave Mead was give a positive ride by Blake Shinn from an inside gate and took up the lead, kicking clear off the turn and then holding off a late challenge from his stablemate King Colorado to win by a length.

A Group I winner at two, King Colorado was set some difficult tasks last spring, but the Kingman colt looks to have come back in great order with both colts sure to find further success as the remainder of their classic season unfolds.

“Once we established the lead and I was able to roll at my own tempo we had the favourite (Steparty) outside of us and with residual fitness that was our opportunity to beat him today and we used it to our advantage,” Shinn said.

Brave Mead runs in the Australian Bloodstock colours and has the tidy record of four wins and five placings form 10 starts with earnings topping $520,000 and the promise of more to come with sprint races to be his target during the autumn.

“Great ride from Blake Shinn and Brave Mead has been a super little horse for Australian Bloodstock,” said Ciaron Maher.

“I said to Blake, ‘take the luck out of it, he’s fit and well, so roll along’ and that was a winning move.

“King Colorado will head to the Australian Guineas at Flemington, which should be ideal for him and I think with this horse we’ll keep him to the sprints. He’s won at 1400, but I do think he’s better over the sharper trips.”

A $90,000 purchase for Ciaron Maher Racing when offered by Lustre Lodge at the 2021 Inglis July (Early) Online Sale, Brave Mead is a half-brother to Listed Geelong Classic winner Solemn, stakes-placed Honeywine and to the dam of Group III ATC Gloaming Stakes winner Raf Attack.

Bred by A B Breeding Venture, Brave Mead is the seventh winner from the nine to race for the Galileo mare Mead, a half-sister to Group I Australasian Oaks winner La Volta and dual Listed winner Terevega with the family also producing Group MRC Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss.

Mead has a two year-old filly by Hellbent that was bought by Triple Crown for $130,000 at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale last year and she was covered by Brave Smash again last spring.

Brave Mead looks a bright prospect for further stakes success this season and can keep his Yarraman Park based sire Brave Smash in the spotlight.

Brave Smash has five yearlings for Inglis Classic.

I Am Invincible and Hellbent also had winners on Australia Day at Warwick Farm with Dimitrov (3g I Am Invincible) breaking his maiden for the John O’Shea stable, while the Annabel Neasham trained mare Hell Hath No Fury (4m Hellbent) took out the Benchmark 72 event over 1400m beating another Hellbent mare in Infinitive.