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4/2/2020 Fierce Impact ready for C F Orr challenge


Having recorded two Group One handicap victories during the spring, Fierce Impact will now try to add a weight-for-age victory at the highest level.

Trained at Warwick Farm by Matthew Smith, Fierce Impact is one of 17 horses nominated for the first Group One race of 2020, the weight-for-age C F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

He will gallop on Tuesday morning before being taken to Melbourne on Thursday.

Craig Williams, who rode Fierce Impact in his Group One Toorak Handicap and Cantala Stakes victories in the spring, again has the ride.

Fierce Impact has raced twice previously at weight-for-age, finishing a little over two lengths from Pierata in the All Aged Stakes at Randwick last April then 11th in the Doomben Cup (2000m) the following month.

Smith said it had been hard to gauge Fierce Impact's progress this campaign but a gallop at Canterbury between races last Friday night gave him confidence ahead of the six-year-old's return.

"He's such a lazy worker," Smith said.

"But his work at Canterbury last Friday night was as good as he does work and I think taking him to the races woke him.

"Nash (Rawiller) got off him and was very pleased with him, so that probably gives us a good indication that he's come back in pretty good order."

Smith said there were a number of on-pace horses among the Orr nominations which should ensure a truly run race.

"There's a few horses that have high cruising speeds so it should be a genuine gallop which will help him," Smith said.

"A weight-for-age win at 1400 metres would be good for his future as a stallion and I think on his wins in Melbourne during the spring, he can run well, for sure."

Fierce Impact holds entries in the Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 7 and the All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield the following week with Smith saying the Chipping Norton Stakes on February 29 was likely to decide Fierce Impact's program.

Including Fierce Impact, there are eight Group One winners among the 17 horses entered for Saturday's race - Avilius, Begood Toya Mother, Hey Doc, Kings Will Dream, Levendi, Microphone and Scales Of Justice.