Jockey Michael Walker’s patience has given him a genuine chance to make it back-to-back wins in the Group One Doomben Cup.
Walker has picked up the mount on the imported Fierce Impact who was 26th in order of entry when he took the ride.
Trainer Matthew Smith was being frustrated in getting a top rider when it appeared only an outside chance Fierce Impact would get a run.
“A couple of others were being a bit reluctant but Michael’s agent said he was willing to wait,” Smith said.
“Michael is a very experienced Group One rider and he won the Cup last year (Comin’ Through).”
Smith is pleased things are coming together for Fierce Impact who showed his class by winning the ATC Summer Cup at Randwick.
The gelding again showed his talent with his second in the Scone Cup (1600m) a week ago.
“It has been a frustrating time for us getting him to the Doomben Cup,” Smith said.
“It’s been a hell of a preparation. He was an emergency in the Doncaster and didn’t get a run, then we went to Melbourne and he got cast and kicked a wall and had to be scratched.”
“We came back to Sydney and went to the All Aged and then we went to run in the 1800 metre race at the Gold Coast (Hollindale) and didn’t get a run there, we were an emergency.”
“He hasn’t been able to get that rhythm into his preparation that he had leading into the Summer Cup.”
“It is a bit frustrating with the wait for a Cup run but you never know. We’ll try the back-up and see how he handles it.”
It will be the first time he has run Fierce Impact on a seven-day back-up:
“That’s the unknown. We know he’s a good fresh horse but we don’t know if he’ll appreciate a seven-day backup,” Smith said.
“But he has done particularly well since the run in Scone. He looks great, he’s eaten up and I can’t fault him so it’s the right time to try.”
Fierce Impact is Japanese-bred being by super sire Deep Impact and is s brother to Keiai Nautquie, a Group One winner at a mile.
He did his early racing in England where he won at 1600m before being sold to Australian interests.
He has since won twice for Smith and picked up minor prize money on five other occasions.
“We bought him because he appealed as a horse for Australian conditions,” Smith said.
“He is really starting to acclimatise now and he has had a couple of previous goes in Group One company without being disgraced.”