Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Talented three-year old Thunder Fantasy has experienced something of a meteoric rise to prominence since debuting on course in 2013, following up two strong victories at the beginning of his spring preparation with a memorable third behind Polanski and Complacent in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) on November 2nd.
Having returned to the track in scintillating form this preparation, the talented Lucky Owners colt found perfect position and produced a strong turn of foot in the final straight to claim the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) by nearly two lengths from a talented field that included Rock Hero and Late Charge, first-up.
Jockey Mark Zahra, who will retain the ride on Thunder Fantasy in this weekend’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), said he believes the exciting colt has improved further from his Autumn Stakes triumph and has the class to figure in the race’s dying stages.
“I think he has improved from the other day, but he’s going to have to as it’s going to be much harder than the Autumn Stakes” Zahra told TVN.
“He flogged that group and he was big. He’s tightened up and he’s drawn well to put himself right there in behind them.
“I think he’s going to be right there at the finish.”
Having drawn the ideal barrier 6 for the Australian Guineas, Thunder Fantasy will face undoubtedly his biggest test to date in a particularly talented 14 horse field.
“You have a Cox Plate winner, Eurozone comes off a narrow defeat against older horses at weight-for-age and Hucklebuck is flying” Zahra added.
“It’s the strongest Australian Guineas in years.”
Trainer Anthony Cummings has outlined a busy autumn preparation for the exciting three-year-old; currently featuring in nominations for the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on April 12th, Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 19th.
Thunder Fantasy is currently featuring as tied-fifth favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the 2014 Australian Guineas with David Payne-trained Criterion at a generous quote of $13 behind favourite Hucklebuck ($3.80), Eurozone ($4.20), 2013 Cox Plate winner Shamus Award ($6) and The Quarterback ($11).
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