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Marcus Wilson looking to the heavens for carnival impact

3 minute read

Ahead of his return to the track at black-type level this Saturday, Marcus Wilson has branded Heavenly Impact potentially the best horse he has ever put a bridle on.

It is a big statement but the Gold Coast trainer has a serious opinion of the two-year-old colt.

Heavenly Impact returns in the Spirit Of Boom Classic on a path to the J.J Atkins at the elite level with a stop at the Sires' Produce Stakes along the way.

He has only been at the races on one occasion when he stormed home in the Magic Millions The Debut earlier this year but he could not reel in the winner.

Heavenly Impact was in the second half of the field for the majority of the trip and while he was still green in the straight, Gold Coast caller Mitch Manners was particularly taken by the effort over 1000 metres.

"It was a massive run the second horse – Heavenly Impact – who was back and had a lot of chasing to do," Manners said.

"He was wayward in the straight and made up many, many lengths."

Wilson gave his emerging juvenile a freshen up following the assignment in the middle of January before bringing him back for a trial on his local Polytrack in late April.

The Group 2 1200 metre Spirit Of Boom Classic is his kick-off point this Saturday as the winter carnival turns to Doomben.

"He is a lovely colt and has always shown good ability," Marcus Wilson said.

"He is probably one of the best – if not the best – that I have ever put a bridle on potential wise. He is heading in the right direction. He is on target for this preparation.

"In his one start, he got into nice clear room in the straight and he really hit the line well, only going down by three quarters of a length or so. The debut was terrific.

"He is going to be a better horse as he steps out over distance."

The stable had Heavenly Impact nominated for last Saturday's Ken Russell Memorial Classic at Caloundra but opted to keep their powder dry for the Spirit Of Boom instead.

Leading Brisbane jockey James Orman was the pilot in his recent trial and Wilson thinks he will not see the best of the colt until his three-year-old campaign.

"I think he will run well in the Spirit Of Boom over 1200 metres but we will not see the best of him until he gets up to 1400 or 1600 metres," the Gold Coast trainer said.

"Even beyond that as a three-year-old, he is a three-year-old type of horse and we will not see the best of him until the spring and autumn as a three-year-old. He has trialled up super and had a jump-out."

The Wilson stable is most certainly a family operation with Marcus learning the ropes from his father John who prepared a team of his own for 25 years.

John was well-travelled throughout NSW as a trainer before stepping back in recent times to aid Marcus as he took out his own licence.

Wilson's mother Bernie is also their stable manager.

They have about 30 in work on the Glitter Strip and are about to move into a new complex with 40 boxes from next month.

As well as his almost two decades of training, Marcus has also worked around the horse stud and veterinarian areas of the racing industry.

John and Bernie are a key part of the team, Marcus says.

"It is good to have another set of eyes as you never stop learning in this industry," he said.

"It is a big bonus those extra set of eyes and you cannot pay for experience. Experience goes a long way."

Heavenly Impact will be joined by stable mate Captain Fenkel in town on Saturday as Wilson's main carnival contenders for 2024.

The $14,000 purchase at the Magic Millions sales - Captain Fenkel – put in a promising effort in the Listed Daybreak Lover in late April before the Group 2 Queensland Guineas earlier this month.

While the form guide says Captain Fenkel finished tenth in the Guineas, Wilson believes the effort was better than what it suggests on paper.

"I thought he stuck on quite well and with 100 metres to go he was still running fourth," Wilson said.

"He only got beaten just over four lengths, I think it was a sound effort. He was only second-up so he is still on the way up the horse.

"Overall I thought it was a good effort and I think he will be a better horse if we can ride him with a bit of a sit and cover.

"He indicates to me he is a better chaser than a front runner."

Wilson reports the son of Kermadec has pulled up well from the Guineas and his path now is the Rough Habit Plate on Saturday before aiming towards the Queensland Derby as his grand final for the campaign.

The significant step up in trip is the question mark as Captain Fenkel progresses through the carnival but Wilson is quietly confident his pedigree suggests he can handle it.

If he does not appreciate the extra ground, Wilson says they may look to freshen him up and target races such as the Gunsynd and the Winx Guineas later in the Queensland Racing Carnival.

"He has always shown pretty good ability," the trainer said.

"We are quite happy with him and he kicked his career off in good style after winning two of his first three starts. The horse is healthy and well and on the right path.

"The Rough Habit will answer a lot of questions on Saturday about his path going forward."

The stable has had two previous attempts to claim the coveted Group 1 Queensland Derby feature but did not score on both occasions with Meteorologist in 2014 and Amalgamation who finished down the track last year.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Heavenly Impact is a $14 chance for Saturday while Captain Fenkel is an outsider in the market.

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