By Ray Hickson
Trainer Matthew Smith would love to see Fierce Impact add to his Group 1 tally at Randwick on Saturday but says if he does claim a third major it’s more likely to come later in the spring.
One of nine Group 1 winners in the $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m), Fierce Impact has pleased Smith with the way he’s returned and he expects the seven-year-old to lay the foundation for a preparation where he’ll step out beyond a mile for the first time since May last year.
Fierce Impact, $16 with TAB, has had two trials under jockey Jason Collett including a third behind Farnan and Mamaragan last week.
“He’s come back in good order, I’m happy with him,’’ Smith said.
“It’s at the lower end of his distance range, it’s probably more likely he’ll win another (Group 1) over a bit further.
“We’re going to distances that are going to suit him better, up to 2000m, this prep whereas last prep we kept him to shorter.’’
Smith believes a kind barrier draw will give Fierce Impact every chance to kick off the preparation in a positive fashion.
His last two first-up runs have realised close second placings over 1400m, last spring he was tipped out by Kolding in the Bill Ritchie while in the autumn he just missed in the Group 1 Orr Stakes.
Fierce Impact runs third in a Kensington trial on August 14
“I don’t want to be too negative and be in the last quarter of the field,’’ Smith said.
“I’d like him to be somewhere from fifth to eighth. I want to give him the chance if he is forward enough to win the race but if he’s not it won’t cut him in half first-up.
“If he ran the race he ran when Kolding just beat him he’s probably right in it, maybe he can do it but I just feel a bit like from this run onwards we’re going to see a good horse.”
Stayer Attorney didn’t quite produce his best in four starts earlier this year after creating a big impression with a couple of wins last winter.
Smith said the Heineken Handicap (1600m) is a starting point for the six-year-old ($26), he feels he’s heading in the right direction this time in but will probably find the mile a touch short.
He kicked off his previous prep with a closing sixth over the Randwick mile in February.
“Hugh Bowman trialled him the other day and said when he gets to 2000m he’ll come into his own. Below that it’ll be too sharp for him,’’ he said.
“As long as he runs a nice race over the mile, I think he definitely needs 1800m and beyond.”
It’s possible last start winner True Marvel could find the Gold Coast Turf Club Trophy (2400m) a shade short but Smith said he couldn’t be going better.
The five-year-old, $11 with TAB, ran fourth in a 2400m event back on July 4 at Randwick and appreciated a class drop to win over 2900m two weeks ago.
“He’s had a long prep but he continues to bounce back at home and work well,’’ Smith said.
“He won over 2900m the other day, if this was 3200m I’d be thinking we’re hard to beat. He’ll run a good race but whether the race is run to suit him I don’t know.”