By Ray Hickson
Take the punt, wait a week or set sights on the spring?
Those are the options in front of trainer Matthew Smith as he ponders whether to test promising import Fierce Impact’s wet track ability at Randwick on Saturday.
The four-year-old son of Deep Impact has certainly made his presence felt in his two Australian runs and is on the third line of betting with TAB at $4.60 in the ATC Owner Benefits Card Handicap (1600m).
If he doesn’t line up it will have a huge bearing on the market with I Am Serious, on the back-up from last Saturday, favourite at $3 ahead of Bastia ($4).
Smith said though the entire has a soft track win from his debut at Yarmouth in the UK he finds the question difficult to answer.
“I’ve got no idea how he’ll go,’’ Smith said.
“The progeny are better on the top of the ground. Unless I get a track I think is okay I’m not going to run him.’’
Fierce Impact made his local debut with an eye-catching third at Warwick Farm before producing a late burst to win over 1400m at Randwick on May 26.
Fierce Impact scoring at Randwick on May 26
There, according to Punters Intel, he ran the fastest last 600m (34.27) of the race and also the quickest final 200m in 11.56.
While it’s fair to say Smith would be leaning towards not running on Saturday he can see the potential for gaining knowledge about the Japanese bred horse who he says could be well above average.
“It probably is worth trying him to see if he handles it, there’s probably no real harm done if he doesn’t handle it,’’ he said.
“I’ll have to talk to the owners about that. At least then we know either way.
“I’d be tempted to run him on a soft track but I don’t know if I want to run him on a heavy track.
“I’d love it if it was on a track that suits all the horses then you get a real indication of where your horse is up to.
“On a rain affected track some will handle it better than others and you walk away and you don’t really know.
“We’re still learning about him, it’s his first prep in Australia and you have to be mindful about that.
“I don’t know if it is the right time to run and then, say he ran poorly, you go out on a bad note.’’
Meanwhile, Smith said he’s leaning towards running unbeaten four-year-old Tonsor at Newcastle on Saturday following his scratching midweek due to a heavy track.
And the stable’s talented filly Aqua D’Ivina is in line for an early August return to racing following successful colic surgery.
Aqua D’Ivina was being set for the autumn carnival after an impressive Randwick win in January when she was forced out.
“She’s in good shape and has been back in work about three weeks,’’ he said.
“I’d like to get her benchmark rating up, get her winning here in Sydney so we can get into some better races with her. She’s exciting so I can’t wait to get her back in action.’’