A crucial track gallop at Warwick Farm will determine immediate plans for Fierce Impact as trainer Matt Smith weighs up Group One options in Sydney and Melbourne.
The horse resumed with a slashing second to three-year-old Alabamba Express in the Group One C F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8, signalling he was in for another lucrative campaign.
Delighted with his return, Smith has brought Fierce Impact home to Sydney and is keen to see how he shapes up in a trackwork test on Monday before deciding his next move.
“It will either be the Futurity or the Chipping Norton,” Smith said.
“It really depends how sharp he works. If he worked nice and sharp on Monday then we will go to Melbourne.
“If he works like he’s looking for the mile, like the edge is off him a little bit, we will wait and go to the Chipping Norton.”
The Group One Futurity Stakes (1400m) is at Caulfield on Saturday with the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick a week later.
Fierce Impact delivered on his promise in the spring, following a narrow second to subsequent Epsom Handicap winner Kolding at Randwick with successive top-level wins in the Toorak Handicap and Cantala Stakes in Melbourne.
He showed he had returned in a similar mood with his Orr placing and Smith is hoping to get him back in the winner’s circle sooner rather than later.
“He’s in for a good prep and he’s come back well,” Smith said.
Fierce Impact holds nominations for several major autumn races in Melbourne and Sydney including the All-Star Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
He was outside the top 10 when All-Star Mile voting went dark on Friday but there are five other spots up for grabs via wild cards and “win and you’re” in races – the Futurity and the Blamey Stakes.