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Impending grabs second G1 victory on big day for Australian stable

Mike Hedge

An overpowering late surge carried Impending to a stunning victory in Saturday’s G1 Kingsford Smith Cup at Doomben, earning him a second top-level success and giving Godolphin’s Australian stable its fifth for the season.

And if he comes through his last gasp win in good order, he could back-up in two weeks for his second victory in the G1 Stradbroke Handicap.

Impending, who is due to join his sire Lonhro at stud later this year, had already established himself as a superior racehorse and his latest victory could hardly have done more to improve his stallion profile.

For trainer James Cummings and the Godolphin team in Australia, Impending has capped a magnificent day and an outstanding season.

His Kingsford Smith win was one of five on a day that included the G3 success of Duca Valentinois in the Lord Mayor’s Cup, also at Doomben.

Other wins on the day went to Savatiano in Sydney, Beware at Gosford and Peacock in Melbourne.

While the win was second G1 for Impending, it was his first for Cummings, his Stradbroke win of last year coming under the guidance of Darren Beadman.

An elated Cummings said Impending could now attempt to win another Stradbroke, so taking a third G1 win with him when he goes to stud.

“He’s a beautiful horse, every time we’ve stepped him out he’s run well,” Cummings said.

“Today he showed what he can do, it was an enormous result for the stable and for Darley and Sheikh Mohammed.

“We’ll give a lot of thought to the Stradbroke, he’s got it in him to keep on improving.”

Jockey Damian Browne took Impending to the rear of the small field from the gates and found himself cluttered up behind a tightly-packed group turning for home.

Browne then found a gap at the 250m mark which Impending instinctively forced his way through and set out after Le Romain who had dashed clear.

In a desperate, last-stride lunge he put his nose in front grabbing a victory that took his racetrack earnings to $2.4 million.

For Browne it was his first G1 win in the Godolphin silks, although he had previously won three G1 races for Sheikh Mohammed in Australia, including the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes on Earthquake.

While Impending provided the day’s highlight, Duca Valentinois, who began his career in Ireland, played his part, scoring a convincing victory, his first at weight-for-age.

The day’s haul took the Australian stable’s winning tally for the season to 202 and its prizemoney total beyond A$14 million.