Coolmore target for Grand Impact

Grand Impact is being set for a tilt at the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m). (Photo by George Sal/Racing Photos)

New Zealand-bred gelding Grand Impact has gone for a quick freshen-up in preparation for some big targets later this spring after his strong win at Sandown on Sunday.

The son of Satano Aladdin, who has won both of his starts to date for trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr, is earmarked for the stallion-making Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day.

“We are going to go the Coolmore path. He is already in the paddock,” Kent Jnr told RSN.

“He is out of a Swiss Ace mare, he is pretty sharp, and while he is by a champion miler we think he is better kept to the fresh side with blinkers on. Without blinkers he is very on and off the bridle.

“He will probably come back and go via the Blue Sapphire (Group 3, 1200m) into the Coolmore, all going well.”

Grand Impact was initially trained in New Zealand by Stephanie Tierney for whom he had two trials, winning over 800m at Ellerslie in January before his sale to Australia.

Grand Impact is by Satono Aladdin, a Group One-winning son of Deep Impact, who will shuttle to Rich Hill Stud this breeding season where he will stand for a fee of $12,500+GST.

Meanwhile, the stable has welcomed back fellow New Zealand-bred Ayrton from his Queensland spell.

The Iffraaj five-year-old had three starts earlier this year, winning the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) first-up before unplaced runs in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).

Kent said the gelding thrived in his time away from the track in the Sunshine State.

“He spelled up in Queensland and he has come back with that real Queensland glow to his coat, he looks brilliant,” he said.

While there remains lucrative targets in his home state of Victoria, his trainers are looking north to the big carrots being dangled in front of them in Sydney.

“He is an obvious Rupert Clarke/Toorak horse, he has got the right rating, but there is a new race in Sydney this year called the Five Diamonds. It is for five-year-olds only, worth AUD$2 million on Stakes day over 1800m,” Kent said.

“They have just announced a prelude three weeks beforehand worth AUD$1 million. It is very attractive.”

Ayrton was bred by Cambridge accountant Greg McCarthy, who remains in the ownership group after a private sale was negotiated by bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo after the horse finished second in his only trial in New Zealand at Te Teko for trainer Lauren Brennan.

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