Last year’s winner Impending is in great shape to retire a winner if he can claim back to back wins in the 2018 Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Impending is booked to start stud duties this Spring at Godolphin’s Victorian Darley Stud and another win in the Stradbroke Handicap will see him stand as a three times Group 1 winning stallion.
The James Cummings trained Impending showed his liking for Queensland when he returned this year to win the Group 2 $200,000 Hiflow Industries Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on April 28 before running second to English in the Group 1 $700,000 Kirin Doomben 10,000 (1200m) at Doomben on May 12.
The Lonhro four year old then claimed his second Group 1 victory in beating Le Roman and Stradbroke Handicap favourite Champagne Cuddles in the Group 1 $700,000 Altus Traffic Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) at Doomben two weeks ago.
Cummings has reported that Impending has trained on very well since his Kingsford-Smith Cup win and worked strongly on the tracks during the week.
“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 told The Courier-Mail.
“He’s strong and fit and feeling good about himself and he arrives at the Stradbroke in the best form of his career.”
Kingsford-Smith Cup winning jockey Damian Browne gets the ride again on Impending who draw barrier nine in the original draw but will come into seven in the final sixteen horse Stradbroke Handicap field if all the emergencies fail to gain a start.
Impending has been solid in the betting for the Stradbroke Handicap and on race eve was marked as the second pick at $6.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Bjorn Baker trained filly Champagne Cuddles as the $4.20 favourite.