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Impending at his peak for G1 Queensland farewell

Godolphin’s high-class sprinter Impending is in “perfect shape” to farewell racing with a third G1 win when he runs in Saturday’s G1 Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben.

Trainer James Cummings declared Impending (Damian Browne) to be in the best form of his life and ready to give weight all round to a group of quality rivals.

“He’s in perfect condition, he’s strong and fit and feeling good about himself, and he arrives at the Stradbroke in the best form of his career,” Cummings said.

“He’s really gained confidence from two wins in three starts this campaign and he was a little unlucky not to have won another Group 1.”

Impending won the Stradbroke in 2017, announcing himself as one of Australia’s best sprinters.

The son of Lonhro has more than lived up to that promise winning the G2 Victory Stakes at his first run this time in, finishing a close second in the G1 Doomben 10,000 and then winning the G1 Kingsford Smith Cup last month.

His trainer reports that he has gone ahead since that latest win.

“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,” he said.

“He has to give a lot of weight to some handy rivals, but it will be a great contest.”

Foremost among his opposition could be last-start G1 Goodwood Hcp winner Santa Anna Lane, who, along with Foxplay and Impending, are the only G1 winners in the race.

Another obvious contender is the filly Champagne Cuddles who finished third to Impending in the G1 Kingsford Smith and meets him 3.5kg better here.

Apart from Impending, Godolphin has an intriguing possibility in Osborne Bulls (Kerrin McEvoy) who is the second reserve for the Stradbroke.

The son of Street Cry began his current preparation in February, but Cummings is satisfied he has held his form. 

“He’s just kept climbing his way through the grades in impressive fashion to get here as a sneaky lightweight chance in Queensland’s greatest race,” the trainer said.

Impending retires to Darley’s Northwood Stud in the coming southern hemisphere breeding season and already has an impressive book of mares awaiting his arrival.

Impending’s record indicates he is a horse who has always been up for the challenge.

He won on debut as a two-year-old in April 2016 and then stepped straight into Group company for placings at his next two.

A Godolphin three-year-old filly is looking to make her mark at the meeting with Banish to take on the males in the G2 Queensland Guineas.

Banish (Glyn Schofield) finished fifth last time out in the G2 Doomben Roses and has a G2 win in Melbourne to her credit over the 1600m of Saturday’s race. 

“She’s forced to tackle some well-performed males, but the way she ran home over the 2000m tells us she’s nice and fit for the race. She just needs to lift a few lengths,” Cummings said.

Godolphin’s Doomben representation is completed by Nozomi (Jim Byrne) in the G2 Brisbane Cup.

The six-year-old comes to the race off some moderate form but trainer Anthony Freedman is pleased with the horse’s preparation in Brisbane and believes he can run a forward race.

“He’s been a very good horse to the stable over several seasons and, with the right run, he’s capable of getting into the finish,” he said.