It looks to be full steam ahead to the Caulfield Guineas 2016 with the John O’Shea-trained Impending after the classy colt won the Stan Fox Stakes in Sydney on Saturday.
A well-bred son of Lonhro, Impending faced a small field of just five rivals in the $200,000 Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Golden Pendant Day.
It was his third start this time in at the track following two good thirds behind his star stablemate Astern in the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) and Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m).
Impending improved on the Group 1 placing last time out in a smaller field dropping in grade third-up in the Stan Fox with gun hoop James McDonald replacing Brenton Avdulla in the mount.
The horse was well-supported and jumped the $2.50 favourite, saluting for the punters in an impressive effort to post his first win since a successful debut also at Rosehill back in April.
With the blinkers on for the first time in the Stan Fox Stakes, McDonald was able to get Impending to switch off and he settled nicely after the jump.
Leading the field around as expected was Thronum, while the James Cummings-trained Good Standing rallied up after missing the kick by a half-length.
Chris Waller’s roughie of the field Cellarman raced up a touch keen on the outside moving into second, while Good Standing on the back of a Golden Rose fifth got the gun run third on the rails.
Around the bend Thronum still held a narrow lead before the backmarkers including the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Mediterranean made their moves.
Impending and McDonald were looking for the run and the winning hoop read the play perfectly, stalking his main danger and able to go across the outside of Divine Prophet once Mediterranean dropped out.
Group 3 winner and Golden Rose fourth placegetter Divine Prophet for Team Hawkes was racing hard and fast up the middle in the closing stages, but Impending levelled up to him and drew away to win by a long neck.
The Stan Fox Stakes trifecta finished in the order of the odds with Impending ($2.50) from Divine Prophet ($3) and Good Standing ($6) in third.
“He’s a good horse in his own right,” McDonald said of Impending post-win.
“The blinkers worked wonders and I had a beautiful run.
“We got the result we wanted.”
It was an improved effort from Impending who looks still to have improvement in him as he heads towards a run over the mile in Melbourne on October 8 in the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
“It’s full steam ahead to the Guineas and he’ll be hard to beat,” McDonald added.
“I think he’s a Group 1 horse for sure.
“He’s been in the shadow of Astern but he’s got a great turn of foot and a great nature.”
If McDonald stays on he’ll be shooting for his second Caulfield Guineas win after the success on Shooting To Win (2014) two years ago.
Shooting To Win completed the Stan Fox Stakes – Caulfield Guineas double, as did Press Statement (2015) 12 months later.
Impending then is out to become the third winner of the double in as many years and is sure to firm notably in the Caulfield Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au led by Divine Prophet before the Stan Fox Stakes results.
To back Impending next race and access the full all-in Caulfield Guineas 2016 odds for next month’s classic visit Ladbrokes.com.au now!
2016 Stan Fox Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 5 – 24/09/2016
|1||1||IMPENDING||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||5||56.5kg||$2.50F|
|2||2||DIVINE PROPHET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||0.3L||4||56.5kg||$2.80|
|3||3||GOOD STANDING||James Cummings||Rory Hutchings||1.1L||1||56.5kg||$6|
|4||7||CELLARMAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||4L||2||56.5kg||$51|
|5||6||MEDITERRANEAN||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||10.4L||6||56.5kg||$11|
|6||4||THRONUM||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tye Angland||13.4L||3||56.5kg||$9.50|
|–||5||HIGH MIST||Chris Waller||–||–||0||–||–|