Sydney trainer Matthew Smith will press Fierce Impact’s Cox Plate claims to the Moonee Valley Racing Club after his six-year-old entire put away a capacity field in Saturday’s group 1 Toorak Handicap.
Just his second win at the elite level after his mare Hurtle Myrtle won the group 1 Myer Classic in 2011, Smith paid credit to his stable for getting the best out of the Japanese-bred entire.
“It’s always good to come down to Melbourne and pinch a good race. It’s been a while,” he said.
“This horse has been promising for a long time and it’s so pleasing to get the job done for all the owners.
“All the staff at the stable have done a sensational job with this horse; he’s a bit of a character so I’m delighted.”
Smith said he “always had a really big opinion of the horse”, having previously run him three times in group 1 level including this race last year.
Fierce Impact resumed in the group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap last month in which he finished second to Kolding, who went onto win last week’s group 1 Epsom Handicap.
“I had a bit of confidence when Craig [Williams] took the ride on the Sunday after the race in Sydney, three weeks out, so I thought that was a good sign,” he said.
“But when you draw 16 you need a bit of luck and he rode him beautifully today.”
Smith said the horse had a future as a stallion and he would now look to add a weight-for-age group 1 to his resume.
“He definitely goes better fresh so we’d always planned for this race and then maybe the Cantala or the Cox Plate, depending on what he did today. He’s even better at 2000 so the way he’s going now, we might have a crack,” he said.
“[I’m] delighted to get this win today, he’s a good horse with a good pedigree.
“He’s a full brother to a group 1 winner in Japan, out of a good mare and he’s by Deep Impact, so hopefully we can find a good home for him.”
Meanwhile, Williams paid credit to Smith for having the horse in peak condition.
“His trainer and all of their staff have been so patient with him,” Williams said.
“He [Smith] put blinkers on him last time and he was excellent. The form got franked by the Epsom winner last week [Kolding].
“I spoke to Matthew in depth today and he was confident. They tell me he is very tricky and he thought it would be a good idea if we just cuddled him for as long as possible. He was awesome. He was very dominant today in his win.”
Article via theage.com.au