The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - MATT JONES

KOLD­ING rock­eted into sec­ond favouritis­m for the $1 mil­lion Ep­som Hand­i­cap (1600m) in a fort­night with a de­ter­mined win at Royal Rand­wick yes­ter­day in the 1400m event.

The Chris Waller-trained four-year-old looked gone when Fierce Im­pact strode past him just be­fore the 100m but he fought back over the fi­nal 50m to win by a short-half-head.

He firmed from $11 to $6 for the Group 1 Ep­som and will get into the race with just 50.5kg on his back — a weight jockey Glen Boss can make.

“It’s a good weight and he has a sense of tim­ing,’’ Waller said. “It is the race we’ve set him for af­ter run­ning in the Queens­land Guineas.

“It was good to see him fight strongly the last 50m when it looked like he was go­ing to be beaten.’’

Like many great horses of the past, Kold­ing has turned into a dif­fer­ent an­i­mal since be­ing gelded this year.

“He’s a re­ally nice horse and he showed that by win­ning three races at the end of the au­tumn,” Waller said.

“Most of them do (re­spond). Most of the Group 1 win­ners have been gelded at some stage.

“With him, it (geld­ing) clicked straight away.”

Waller said get­ting into the Ep­som this year with a light

weight would be com­mon.

“This year, the Ep­som has been com­pacted with Happy Clap­per and Hart­nell in the nom­i­na­tions. There’s go­ing to be a lot of horses get­ting in with 50.5kg,” he said.

Boss thought he was on a win­ner and a loser at dif­fer­ent points in the straight.

“I was con­fi­dent at the top of the straight that I was go­ing to run re­ally well but when Nash (Raw­iller) on Fierce Im­pact put three-quar­ters of a length on me re­ally quick, I thought ‘oh gee, that’s just too good’ but to his credit he lifted when I asked him to,’’ Boss said.

“That’s a good sign head­ing to­wards the Ep­som.”

Kold­ing (out­side) gets the bet­ter of Fierce Im­pact at Rand­wick. Pic­ture: Si­mon Bullard

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