Jockey Damian Browne rides Impending to victory in race 8, the Hiflow Industries Victory Stakes, during the Starlight Family Raceday at Doomben Racecourse in Brisbane, Saturday, April 28, 2018. (AAP Image/Albert Perez) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Jockey Damian Browne rides Impending to victory in race 8, the Hiflow Industries Victory Stakes, during the Starlight Family Raceday at Doomben Racecourse in Brisbane, Saturday, April 28, 2018. (AAP Image/Albert Perez) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY ALBERT PEREZ

Browne claims top victories at Doomben

DEFENDING Stradbroke champ Impending set up a mouth-watering Doomben 10,000 clash after a superb return to racing in Saturday's Victory Stakes at Doomben with Sunshine Coast jockey Damian Browne in the saddle.

In what shapes as a campaign set to showcase his stud credentials, Impending overcame a zip-fast pocket in the straight and sprinted quickly when he saw daylight to gun down Most Important, who turned in a superb Stradbroke trial himself.

Impending will stand at Darley's Woodside Park Stud for $22,000 this year.

Darley and Godolphin's Australian manager Vin Cox revealed there had been some changes to the philosophy of the stud and in fact 25 breeding rights to Impending had been sold ahead of his retirement this year.

"We're doing things a bit differently and it's very pleasing that some of the best breeders in Victoria and New South Wales have been happy to jump on board with this horse," Cox said.

Impending had only raced twice since last year's Stradbroke and Corbould Park jockey Damian Browne tipped him to "improve lengths" on what he did on Saturday.

Jeff Lloyd (Supido) had Browne second guessing when he had him locked away well into the straight.

"I was about to make the wrong decision," Browne said.

"I expected Monsieur Gustave to drop off and when Most Important moved half a horse I was just about to go back to the inside.

"But then Jeff just dropped off a shade and I changed my mind and fortunately we got through.

"He will improve tonnes off that. He raced a little bit fresh."

Cox paid tribute to Browne's long and successful association with Sheikh Mohammed in Australia.

"He knows what he's doing and we love it when we can put him on," he said.

Impending will now bid to become the first horse since Black Piranha (2009-10) to win consecutive Stradbrokes and also emulate Srikandi (2015) and Rough Habit (1991) as the only Victory winners to go on and claim Queensland's famous sprint.

"We're delighted to bring the Stradbroke winner back and have him in form to defend that crown," Cox said.

"He's been working the place down at home and this win sets him up for a great campaign.

"The Doomben 10,000 shapes as a great race, with Redzel and In Her Time and then we're here for the next two runs after that as well."

Just as they did with Torvill ($2.50-$4.40) in the previous event, bookmakers gambled with Impending, who eased from an odds-on quote to start $2.50.

Local hope Most Important showed he was on target for the winter features with a solid first-up second.

"We had Browney in pretty tight behind us and for a while it looked like he wasn't going to get out, but it wasn't to be," Most Important's jockey Jim Byrne said.

"You have to be happy with that though. It was a great first-up effort by the horse."

QUICK-THINKING BROWNE LEADS BY EXAMPLE

DAMIAN Browne's early summation of the Gunsynd Classic paved the way for classy Melbourne three-year-old Villermont to return to the winner's circle at Doomben.

Villermont drifted from a morning quote of $2.70 to $4 at one stage of betting before firming to run $3.50 after some concerns about his barrier (nine).

When no horse wanted to take the ascendancy early, Browne opted to put the All Too Hard colt in the unfamiliar role of pacemaker.

"They wanted me to be positive early and it was a bit messy going into that first corner so rather than being stuck three wide I decided to ride him like the best horse in the race," Browne said.

"He got into a beautiful rhythm down the side and he was able to get a few cheap sectionals."

Browne was noncommittal about Villermont's chances of getting over further, but praised the horse's effort in the straight.

"He's a bit of a thinker, but he had a real dig. I thought I was gone at the 100m when Larry (Cassidy) got to us."

Cassidy said runner-up Dark Dream hit a flat spot, which cost him the race.

"Browney just put two lengths on us which cost us the race. When mine wound up he let rip, but he's still very new," Cassidy said.

Jockey Jim Byrne and trainer Ben Currie praised the run of Hang, who was decked early before running on for fourth.

"He's done a great job after what happened early and he's desperate for 2000m now," Currie said of the horse he has long rated a legitimate Derby contender.

The other eye-catcher was Chris Waller's Omineca, who ran on from well back to grab third at just his third start.

Street Cry gelding Marsupial is finally living up to some of the talent he showed early, proving a shade too classy in Saturday's Maker's Mark 3YO Plate to give Byrne his first win in the famous Godolphin colours.

It made it back-to-back wins for the striking James Cummings-trained runner, who was an impressive debut winner last season before going under four times as favourite in subsequent runs.

He broke the run of outs at Rosehill last month and thanks to a perfect run just behind the speed, made it two-on-end yesterday.

"Last year the team had a high opinion of him as a two-year-old before a few things went amiss," Godolphin's Australian manager Vin Cox said.

"I'm sure James has a host of options with nice races up here for him now."

Byrne said Marsupial has a few tricks and probably should have won by further than he did.

"He's had behaviour issues in the past but they sorted that out by making him a little bit lighter (gelding him) and he's a nice animal," Byrne said.



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