By Glenn Davis
Last year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Impending began his farewell tour in brilliant fashion ahead of a future stud career with a rousing win in the Group Two Victory Stakes at Doomben on Saturday.
Impending, having his first start since finishing third in the Group 1 Darley Classic at Flemington in November, stormed home to down Most Important by a long neck in the 1200-metre feature.
Three-year-old filly I Am Excited ran on strongly for third, a further three-quarters of a length away.
Impending is set to stand stud at the end of the season but Godolphin trainer James Cummings plans to send the four-year-old out with a flourish with more Group 1 wins.
Cummings has earmarked the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 and Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup next month for Impending before another Stradbroke attempt.
The son of Lonhro had his stud fee of $22,000 announced for his first season at Northwood Park in Victoria earlier this month.
Jockey Damian Browne produced a brilliant ride on Impending who was blocked for a run in the straight before managing to bullock his way into the clear.
It was Browne’s third Victory Stakes success after winning on Buffering in 2013 and Srikandi two years later.
Godolphin’s manager director Vin Cox praised Browne’s super ride.
“He’s one of the best riders in the country and he knows what he is doing,” Cox said.
“It was a super ride.
“Impending won last year’s Stradbroke and he’ll now have a chance to win it again.”
Browne later made it a feature race double when Victorian Villermont just lasted to claim the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1630m).
Browne shot the Ciaron Maher-trained three-year-old to the lead in the back straight and looked to have the race in his keeping until Dark Dream powered home to just fail by a nose.
Omenica was third, a further 5-1/2 lengths away.
It was Villermont’s second Group win after taking out the Group 2 Sandown Guineas in November.
Maher missed Villermont’s win as he was in Sydney but stable representative Annabel Neasham confirmed he would press on to the Group 1 Queensland Derby in June.
Racing Queensland webnews April 28