Forgive and forget! There was more than a touch of irony to Radical Impact’s metropolitan breakthrough – after a string of minor placings – at Wednesday’s midweek Wyong meeting.
Hawkesbury trainer Nick Mitchell thought he had clinched his own metropolitan breakthrough on 10 June 2015 when his gelding 'won' a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury, with Frenchman Thomas Huet aboard. Unfortunately for Mitchell and his owners, stewards overturned the result on protest and awarded the race to Christian Reith’s mount Napayshini.
Nearly two years later, Radical Impact finally cracked it for a city victory yesterday – and Reith was his rider. Starting remarkably at $31, the seven-year-old maintained his unbeaten record over the Wyong 1200m in a Benchmark 67 Handicap, defeating fancied pair, $3 favorite Kitteau and Pound Sterling ($3.40).
“Christian is now forgiven in full,” a delighted Mitchell said. “Radical Impact deserved that win and I thought he had a really great chance. There were genuine excuses at his last two starts and he was down in grade.”
Punters obviously disregarded Radical Impact’s penchant for Wyong – in particular the 1200m trip – by allowing him to start at such lucrative odds. A son of Snitzel, he has now won eight races and been placed a further 17 times from 54 starts.
Radical Impact has raced only six times at Wyong, and his first three victories over his specialist 1200m course were all in 2014. So much so that Mitchell took him back there the following autumn, and he qualified for the inaugural Provincial Championships Final at Royal Randwick by finishing third to eventual winner Sure And Fast over 1350m.
Radical Impact prior to Wednesday had not raced at Wyong for 12 months when he finished fifth over 1350m in a Benchmark 66 Handicap on April 17 last year. Immediate plans for the gelding are uncertain. “There’s not a 1200m race for him at our stand-alone meeting at Hawkesbury on Saturday week, but we’ll see how he does in the next few days,” Mitchell said.