News that picture perfect weather had returned to Brisbane has boosted Godolphin’s head trainer James Cummings’s confidence Impending can win the Group One Doomben 10,000.
Solid rain fell in Brisbane early in the week and the Doomben track was rated a heavy 8 on Wednesday morning.
The fine weather returned to Brisbane and by Friday the track was a soft 6 with further improvement expected by Saturday’s race day.
Despite its heavy workload in recent years Doomben remains one of Australia’s best drying tracks.
Impending is having his last campaign before going to stud and scored an impressive first-up win in the Group Two Victory Stakes at Doomben two weeks ago.
Cummings believes Impending can start his quest to win three Group One races, the Doomben 10000, Kingsford Smith Cup and Stradbroke, in his farewell campaign by winning the 10000.
“He’s trimmed up nicely as expected from his emphatic first-up win in the Victory Stakes,” Cummings said.
“He’s enjoyed a good couple of weeks and the clear weather between now and race day would be good news for Impending who prefers a track rated better than heavy.”
Impending won last year’s Group One Stradbroke Handicap as a three-year-old when Darren Beadman was stand-in Godolphin trainer, but Cummings believes he is a tougher horse now.
“He galloped strongly during the week and looks to have absorbed his first-up effort as the targets become increasingly difficult,” Cummings said.
“This is a top-class weight-for-age event and it will be very satisfying to see Impending race at his best.”
Cummings’ grandfather Bart Cummings won the 10,000 three times with maybe Mahal (1997), Broad Reach (1987) and Campaign King (1988).
Godolphin has won the race twice with Beaded (2011) and Epaulette (2013) when Peter Snowden trained for Sheikh Mohammed under the Darley banner.
On Friday, Impending was at $11 with Redzel the TAB’s $2.25 favourite ahead of In Her Time at $4.40.
At the other end of the betting scale, Monsieur Gustave ($71) will be out to prove he deserves his place in the quality field.
Monsieur Gustave is a proven stakes horse having won four black-type races up to Group Three Class.
He showed he wasn’t far off elite company at his last start when fourth in the Group Two Victory Stakes at Doomben two weeks ago.
Originally trained by Jason McLachlan, Monsieur Gustave has been with Darryl Hansen for the past two years and has earned more than $500,000 for his seven wins in that period.
“He deserves a chance at top company and won’t disgrace himself,” Hansen said.
He will be ridden by Tiffani Brooker who will be aiming to become the first female to ride a 10,000 winner with Tegan Harrison a close second on Temple Of Boom four years ago.