Impending primed for double shot
IMPENDING gets his chance to end a 30-year hoodoo and ride off into the breeding barn as one of racing's hottest commodities if he can win Saturday's Stradbroke Handicap.
Like Show A Heart and Thorn Park before him, Impending is aiming to retire on a high by winning the Stradbroke at his finale to racing.
Godolphin's Australian manager Vin Cox said he is "fully booked" with 150 mares set to visit him at Darley's Victorian base this year.
Cox and trainer James Cummings sought the advice of revered form student Dominic Beirne before committing to a Stradbroke start with Impending.
"After assessing the weights, he had Impending and Osborne Bulls pretty much level pegging," Cox said.
"Unfortunately Osborne Bulls is looking like a 100-1 shot to get a start, but we're delighted to have drawn the middle of the field with Impending.
"Dominic said Champagne Cuddles came out on top, but luck in running is worth a fortune in racing and we're hoping it runs with us on Saturday."
Impending and Russian Revolution are the only two dual domestic Group 1 winners retiring to stud in Australia this year.
Impending will stand for $22,000 and Russian Revolution $55,000.
"We think he's well priced and even though he's been popular since we announced his fee, what he's done in Brisbane just topped it off," Cox said.
"He filled up after just missing out in the 10,000 and when he won the Kingsford-Smith Cup, everyone wanted to be in."
Impending is trying to join Rough Habit (1991-92) and Black Piranha (2009-10) as dual Stradbroke winners in the modern era, but it's the fact he was a last-start Group 1 winner at Doomben which presents him the biggest historical challenge.
The last horse to win the big sprint double in Queensland was Campaign King, in 1988.
The moving of the Doomben 10,000 has muddied the history books, but make no mistake, it's the ghost of Campaign King that Impending is chasing on Saturday.
In the strict sense of the honour rolls of the weight-for-age races as they sit now, Impending is trying to emulate Thorn Park, who won the BTC Cup (Kingsford-Smith) before taking the Stradbroke two starts later.
"He looked really, really sweet in a gallop on the course proper on Tuesday morning and gave us a little more confidence, if we needed it, going into this race," Cummings said.
"He's strong and fit and feeling good about himself and he arrives at the Stradbroke in the best form of his career."
Race 5, 2.15pm
1. IMPENDING J Cummings D Browne (9) 57.5kg
2. SANTA ANA LANE A Freedman B Melham (3) 55.5kg
3. CRACK ME UP L Birchley J Byrne (5) 53.5kg
4. ENDLESS DRAMA C Waller G Schofield (20) 53.5kg
5. VOODOO LAD D Weir C Parnham (7) 53.5kg
6. SPIETH D & B Hayes & T Dabernig C Williams (21) 53.5kg
7. FOXPLAY C Waller M Walker (19) 53kg
8. MOST IMPORTANT T Gollan M Du Plessis (2) 53kg
9. THE MONSTAR B Cavanough S Bogenhuber (8) 52.5kg
10. SHILLELAGH C Waller M Dee (10) 52.5kg
11. CARE TO THINK M Dunn T Clark (16) 52.5kg
12. BURNING PASSION M Newnham M Cahill (15) 52kg
13. SUPER CASH A Noblet J Kah (13) 51.5kg
14. INVINCIBLE GEM K Lees B Avdulla (17) 51.5kg
15. PERAST P Perry J Lloyd (12) 50kg
16. CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES B Baker C Brown (1) 50kg
17e. DANON LIBERTY D Weir - (6) 51.5kg
18e. OSBORNE BULLS J Cummings K McEvoy (4) 51.5kg
19e. MOSS 'N' DALE P Gelagotis A Darmanin (11) 51kg
20e. PECANS J Pride - (18) 51kg
21e. I'M A RIPPA T Gollan - (14) 51kg