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Impending brings up Australian G1 success

The classy colt Impending scored a G1 victory that defied the odds and provided full reward for the perseverance and dedication of Godolphin’s entire Australian team in the Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.

The colt, who had spent so much of his early career in the shadow of his stablemate Astern, stepped decisively into the top rank with a comprehensive defeat of In Her Time and Clearly Innocent.

Impending took his place in Queensland’s richest race with stable confidence high, but a wide gate on the tricky Doomben circuit looked to have dented his prospects.

“We thought this was a great race for him, he’d worked so well over the past two weeks, but after the draw I knew it was going to be tough,” said trainer Darren Beadman.

“There were a couple of other issues as well in the lead up, he trod on his shoe and pulled it off and Brett Killion who looks after him spent most of the past 24 hours icing his foot so we could get him to the start.

“It’s been a huge team effort.”

For Beadman the win was his first at G1 level as a trainer and was the fifth for Godolphin in Australia this season.

It also completed a rare sequence for the former champion rider who won G1 races on Impending’s sire, the Darley-based Lonhro and his dam Mnemosyne.

Beadman’s 86 G1 wins in the saddle also included five aboard Lonhro’s sire, Octagonal.

But Godolphin’s recently installed Australian head trainer couldn’t witness the biggest moment of his brief training career in person having been struck down by a virus that forced him to be hospitalised on Thursday.

Godolphin’s Australian managing director Henry Plumptre believes Impending can add to his feature-race record in the new season that begins on August 1.

"He will head home now and we can have a talk about the spring," Plumptre said.

Before his latest victory, Impending's major success had come in the G2 Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill in September, 2106.

His third win from 12 starts took his racetrack earnings beyond A$1.5 million and made him Lonhro’s ninth individual G1 winner.

For winning jockey Corey Brown, the Stradbroke victory was his fourth G1 success in Australia since returning from a stint in Singapore earlier this year.

Brown took a conservative approach aboard the colt, easing him across from his wide gate to be three-wide in midfield until entering the short Doomben straight.

With 300m to run he moved out to the centre of the track and unleashed an irresistible challenge.

“I found a nice trail three-wide and even though we were out there for the entire race, he was comfortable,” Brown said.

“When I asked for his effort, he let down so well, he was the best horse in the race and he deserved it.”