Great Southern trainer Steve Wolfe gave racegoers a winning lead when he relied on Brave Spirit to be the stable’s sole representative in the LR Raconteur Stakes (1400m) at Belmont on Saturday.

Wolfe also prepares promising 3yo Rope Them In (Playing God) but kept him for an easier assignment in the Free Entry To Belmont Park Hcp (1400m).  He duly saluted and less then an hour later Brave Spirit (Photo / Western Racepix) made it a running double for the yard when powering home from the back of the field to win the Raconteur.

Wolfe is on holidays and wasn’t at Belmont leaving Tamara Playle to front the press on behalf of her boss.  “It was a brilliant ride by Shaun (McGruddy) and the horse did it so well,” she said.  “He really hit the line in his last win here and finished so well again today.”

Cool Memory (Impending) flew in front and the scorching tempo set it up for the closers like Brave Spirit who swooped late to defeat the Street Boss (USA) fillies The Boss Lady and Sapphire Street.

“That won us the race although any faster and he would have been out his comfort zone,” McGruddy declared.  “He’s got an engine but it’s taken a while for his body to catch up.”

The LR Belmont Guineas (1600m) on June 22 is the next goal in what’s shaping up as a breakout prep.  Wolfe won the 2003 renewal of the Raconteur with Mapperholic who was by Bletchingly sire Mapperley’s Star.

Brave Spirit (3g Brave Smash – Miss Shanghai by Flying Spur) is a homebred for Mt Hallowell Stud owners Craig and Rose Thompson after failing to reach a $120,000 reserve at the 2022 Perth Magic Millions.  He’s by Yarraman Park’s Japanese-bred resident Brave Smash (Tosen Phantom) who was a dual Melbourne Group 1 winner of the 2018 MRC Futurity Stakes (1400m) and MVRC Manikato Stakes 1200m)

Miss Shanghai is a half-sister to the dam of this year’s LR MRC Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) winner High Octane (Deep Field).  The mare has a yearling filly by All American and a filly foal by Gold Standard.

Gold Standard (Sebring) was a Group 2 winner of the Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill for the Thompsons in 2017.  They retained 10 lifetime shares after selling him to stand at stud in Victoria and bred Group 1 winning filly Sheeza Belter from his first book.