Impending will head to the 2016 Caulfield Guineas as one of the favourites after he recorded a narrow victory in the Stan Fox Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Trainer John O’Shea elected to apply blinkers to Impending for the first time in his racing career, but he still was settled at the tail of the field while Thronum took up the running from Good Standing.
Divine Prophet had a head start on his rival and it looked as though Mediterranean was going to block Impending for a run, but jockey James McDonald eventually found clear running and Impending finished over the top of his rivals to take out the Stan Fox Stakes.
McDonald admitted after the race that it looked as though Impending might be in trouble at the top of the straight, but he was pleased that the Lonhro colt had finally been able to breakthrough for a black-type victory.
“He is a good horse in his own right,” McDonald said.
“John whacking the blinkers on worked wonders.
“I had a jockey playing jockeys for a while, but we got the result we wanted.
“He is full steam to the Guineas and he will be hard to beat.
“I think he is a Group 1 horse for sure.
“He is in the shadow of Astern, but he hasn’t had the rub of the green and he has a great turn-of-foot.”
O’Shea revealed after the race that the Stan Fox Stakes was something of a d-day for Impending and he was delighted that the three-year-old had got the job done.
The Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 8 is the most likely option for Impending, but O’Shea refused to confirm where he would have his next race start.
“He is a horse that we have always thought extremely highly of,” O’Shea said.
“This has been his d-day and his next two races have been the races where we were adamant he was going to be at his best.
“He did a good piece of work that was indicative that he was getting there.
“Credit must go to our team at home and he was presented here in tremendous order.
“It is testament to our whole operation that they have presented him here in this order.”
Runner-up Divine Prophet arguably hit the front too far from home, while Good Standing lost no admirers with a tough on-pace effort for third.