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Kiwi import verifies Eagle credentials

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Emerging star I’m Thunderstruck (NZ) (Shocking) has earned a short pre-spring break after again proving his credentials for the A$7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill in October.

The son of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking handled a smart field of late-season three-year-olds over 1514 metres at The Valley on Saturday, digging deep to down Tuvalu (Kermadec) to record his fourth win from just six starts and in doing so, earn a nod of approval from his co-trainer Mick Price.

“I had a lot of respect for Lindsey’s (Smith) horse (Tuvalu) and I did think it would be a long way in front of us in the race,” Price said.

“We had 60 kilos and were going to be backish, so I thought it was a good sustained effort.

“I didn’t do a lot with him last Saturday morning wanting to keep enough fresh legs in him for 1500m. It is a bit like a sprint distance at The Valley I reckon, a bit different to the mile. I know its 100 metres shorter, but it’s a sharp, sprint around here, so with the 60 kilos, I saw the inside horse fighting back and I thought, ‘whoopsie’, but good horses cover up your mistakes.”

Price said a spring program had yet to be confirmed: “I haven’t worked it out yet,” he said.

“After today he probably goes to an 81 or an 82 (rater). I’m hoping that gets him a run in the race for four-year-olds (Golden Eagle).

“He’ll definitely have a little breather. We’ll put a circle around the Golden Eagle and work our way back, whether he has two runs in, that’s something we have to work out.”

Bred by Tony Forlong and Jennifer Jones, I’m Thunderstruck won a 1000m two-year-old trial at Te Aroha in July last year for Matamata horseman Daniel Miller.

The son of Shocking caught the eye of bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo who negotiated his purchase for OTI Racing before being transferred to Price and Kent Jnr.

OTI Racing’s Terry Henderson confirmed the horse’s owners had rejected a number of offers from Hong Kong for the horse but expected more would come following Saturday’s performance.

Price said I’m Thunderstruck would have something like a two-week break before returning to work, where he is likely to have two lead-in runs to the Golden Eagle.

Jockey Jamie Kah was happy to sit back on I’m Thunderstruck early before looping him around the field to tackle for the lead on the home turn.

Tuvalu, who was heavily supported into $3 by race time, fought hard back to his inside but found the topweight too strong and I’m Thunderstruck ($2.25 favourite) forged clear to win by half a length.

It was notable the third horse Seiners Express (NZ) (Shamexpress) was some five lengths away in third place.

Kah later told Price she felt that once I’m Thunderstruck had more race experience, he would be a tough horse to beat.

“I thought today he was going to go straight. He was beautiful around the turn but he still wanted to test me in the last 50m,” she said.

“It can be a hard track for horses that do want to get in because it can be so tight, but I think next prep he’s going to be a nice horse.

“The penny still hasn’t dropped yet which is amazing because he’s doing all this on raw talent.”

The post Kiwi import verifies Eagle credentials appeared first on BOAY Racing News.

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