Fierce Impact found himself back in the winner’s circle at Caulfield on Saturday as Matthew Smith’s talented galloper claiming the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) with jockey Craig Williams on board.
After a three week freshen-up, Fierce Impact returned to the races as an $18.00 chance with Ladbrokes prior to the jump, only to delight punters who got on board by storming from a wide portion of the track to win by a length.
After failing to run a place in the Doomben Cup back in May, Saturday marked Fierce Impact’s first-ever Group 1 win. The Japanese import wound up beautifully under Williams, and after showing plenty of promise with the blinkers on during a recent jumpout, it’s safe to say the bookies severely underestimated Fierce Impact’s turn of foot.
“He put blinkers on him last time, he was excellent. The form got franked by the Epsom winner last week. He drew wide today, spoke to Matthew and he was confident. He told me he was tricky so I thought it’d be a good that he just really cuddle us for as long as possible and he was awesome, really dominant in his win” Williams said after the race.
Cliff’s Edge was the one to watch on Saturday after leading early along the rails. Ciaron Maher’s five-year-old ran out of steam down the straight however, which allowed Fierce Impact plenty of time to make up ground on the outside.
“I’ve always had a really big opinion of the horse, people are probably getting sick and tired of hearing me, but I really like the horse” trainer Matthew Smith joked after the race.
“I had a bit of confidence when Craig took the ride after the race in Sydney when he took the ride three weeks out, he had a bit of luck but he rode beautifully today.”
Williams had little work to do in the final stages as Fierce Impact let down beautifully. The plan ahead remains unclear, but Smith is willing to toy with the idea of sending Fierce Impact out to stud.
“He’s definitely a good stallion prospect if anyone’s out there. He’s got a great pedigree, he’s a full brother to a Group 1 winner out of Japan, he’s out of a really good mare and he’s out of Deep Impact. So hopefully we can find a home somewhere for him” Smith said.