The Golden Eagle date is marked on co-trainer Mick Price’s calendar after I’m Thunderstruck posted his second straight win over Tuvalu at The Valley.
The $7.5m Golden Eagle for four-year-olds will run in Sydney on October 30.
Price hoped I’m Thunderstruck’s latest win boosted his rating high enough to have the gelding in contention for to make the Golden Eagle field.
TAB trimmed I’m Thunderstruck’s Golden Eagle quote to $11 after his latest win.
I’m Thunderstruck’s stablemate Ayrton is the $6 favourite three months out from the event.
“After today he probably goes to an 81 or an 82 (rating),” Price, who trains I’m Thunderstruck in partnership with Michael Kent Jr, said.
“I’m hoping that gets him a run in the race for four-year-olds.”
Price said I’m Thunderstruck would head out for a short break while the stable plots his path towards his rich spring target.
“We’ll put a circle around the Golden Eagle and work our way back,” Price said.
“Whether he has two runs in, that’s something we have to work out.”
I’m Thunderstruck was a brilliant winner at Flemington when he last met the Lindsey Smith-trained Tuvalu a fortnight earlier.
I’m Thunderstruck shakes off Tuvalu at The Valley. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
But the son of Shocking had the services of premier jockey Jamie Kah, who guided the $2.25 favourite past a fitter Tuvalu on the tighter Valley track, prevailing by a half-length.
Kah said I’m Thunderstruck was far from the finished product.
“The penny still hasn’t dropped yet which is amazing because he’s doing all this on raw talent,” Kah said.
“I’ve ridden a few of the breed and they’ve got those few little issues.
“He’s a lovely horse, but he doesn’t want to do everything right at the moment.”
Kah’s win on I’m Thunderstruck was her 104th Melbourne win on the day she was officially crowned the city jockeys’ premiership winner.
Kah’s mounts pushed through the $12m earnings barrier for the season on Saturday.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club honoured Kah by presenting her with a trophy and a cheque for $10,000 as the leading jockey at the track for the season.
NO STRANGER TO VALLEY SUCCESS
Hi Stranger again showed his love for The Valley when he remained unbeaten at the track on Saturday.
The Shane Fliedner-trained Hi Stranger won his only other start at the track in February last year but took another 17 months to get back to The Valley.
The result was the same at his latest trip to the track when Hi Stranger ($3.70) wore down the $3.10 favourite No Effort to score by 1½ lengths.
Fliedner said Hi Stranger, a son of Irish stallion Zoffany, was finally starting to show his best as a rising five-year-old.
FIiedner said the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) in September was a good target for the gelding.
“He’s virtually bred to run 2000 (metres),” Fliedner said.
“I’ve never pushed to get there but I think we will this time.”
Hi Stranger races past No Effort. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
MAHAMEDEIS CELEBRATES IN STYLE
Nick Ryan’s grand galloper Mahamedeis celebrated a career milestone in the best possible fashion in the Mirasan Handicap (2040m).
Mahamedeis stepped out for his 50th start on Saturday. The gelding showed he still had plenty of zest for racing when he notched his 12th win in a narrow verdict over the Chris Waller-trained Pancho ($4.20).
The son of Magnus has thrived on recent racing. He was unplaced in Queensland four runs back and finished less than two lengths from the winner over 2412m at Caulfield last Saturday.
“He’s deep into his prep. He’s been to Queensland and back. Nothing would surprise you with this horse,” Ryan said.
“It’s been a pretty good ride for the owners, myself, the staff. He’s a marvel.”
The $3 favourite Buckhurst weakened from the home turn to finish fifth. Stewards reported the imported galloper pulled up lame after the race.
NEVER ASSUME THE WORST
So You Assume’s pre-race behaviour worried jockey Dean Yendall but the end result was an impressive four-length win in the Victorian Wakeful Club Lady of Racing Handicap (1600m).
The Shane Nichols-trained filly was a handful for Yendall before the race but she packed too much power for her rivals, racing on the pace throughout going on with it in the straight.
“Going around to the barriers I thought I was going to have a tough task on my hands,” Yendall said.
“She shied at everything going around and then coming back to the gates.”
Her trainer Shane Nichols said his long-term plan was to give So You Assume a crack at a stakes race at the end of the spring carnival “when the others are out of petrol.”
STABLE HAS ROMANS SMOKIN’
A tricky draw and racing at The Valley for the first time were no impediment to Smokin’ Romans posting one of the easier wins of the day in the Travis Harrison Cup (2500m).
Smokin’ Romans got the money at Sandown last time out before stepping up to 2500m in Saturday’s $135,000 contest.
Jumping from barrier 13 didn’t help Smokin’ Romans’ cause but the stayer had the services of jockey Jamie Kah.
Smokin’ Romans was always near the speed before striding clear in the straight to score a comfortable two-length win.
I was a little nervous when Jamie was rounding the home turn, but she was cool, calm and collected and got the job done.”
Originally published asPrice plotting Thunder strike on Golden Eagle
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