The bookies may have them at a juicy price but connections of young Adelaide galloper Fire Thunderbolt are hoping the horse can regain form and reward their decision to pay the hefty $55,000 late entry for them to run in Saturday’s Patinack Farm Classic 2012 at Flemington.
Prepared by Phillip Stokes in Morphettville, three-year-old California Dane gelding Fire Thunderbolt will face an open-age field of rivals for the first time when they face their acid test in the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m).
A winner of their opening two career starts as a juvenile during the autumn, including a 1000m Listed race at Flemington by three lengths, Fire Thunderbolt has had two runs this time in.
First-up they came within a neck of fellow Patinack acceptor Snitzerland in the Blue Sapphire at Caulfield before they ran a luckless seventh beaten three and a half lengths by Nechita in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day after missing the jump and getting caught in traffic during the closing stages.
“He was beaten three lengths which he pretty much cost himself at the start,” Stokes said.
“He was then blocked for a run and didn’t have a lot of luck but he’s come through the race really well.”
While they didn’t run a place in the Coolmore and their age and form makes them a sketchy bet in the Patinack, the late fee was paid on the weekend and the horse is now one of 15 sprinters making up the 2012 Patinack Farm Classic field.
“I should’ve nominated him originally but he’s there now, we’re happy to run and Glyn Schofield takes the ride,” Stokes said.
For their three most recent runs Fire Thunderbolt has been ridden by Craig Williams but Schofield will take over on Saturday with Williams engaged to ride the Gai Waterhouse-trained Hallowell Belle ($15).
In the latest Patinack Farm Classic odds there are three horses at single-figures with Manikato Stakes winner Sea Siren ($3.60), runner-up Mental ($5.50) and well-beaten favourite Buffering ($5.50).
Further down the Patinack Farm Classic betting markets punters can then find Fire Thunderbolt who is paying $21 after drawing barrier 11 of 15.
History says both him and fellow three-year-old Snitzerland however could make a nie bet as since 2007, when the race become WFA, 3YO’s coming via the Coolmore have twice run second with Star Witness (2nd to Black Caviar in 2010) and Wanted (2nd to All Silent in 2009).
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