Trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr couldn’t be any happier with the way their star four-year-old I’m Thunderstruck has returned to their Cranbourne stable.
The New Zealand-bred gelding was superb in the spring, placing in the
Gr.1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) fresh-up before winning the Gr.1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) and A$7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m).
He went for a six-week spell and is now preparing for some more rich targets this season, highlighted by the A$5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington in March.
“He is superb,” Kent Jnr told SENTrack. “That was his second racing prep, so he did a marvelous job to do all of that.
“He deserved a spell. He was very tired after the Golden Eagle.
“He is back in the stable and he is about three weeks out from a jump out, maybe two, we will just see how he goes.
“We are not exactly sure where we will kick him off. The All-Star Mile is the main target at this stage.
“Working backwards from there, he will run in the Futurity (Gr.1, 1400m), and whether or not you run him in the Orr (Gr.1, 1400m) before that. He is really going well.”
While he is being aimed at targets up to a mile this preparation, Kent Jnr believes his future lies over more ground.
“No doubt I think he will get out a bit further,” he said. “I think he is a really good weight-for-age horse, and those really good horses can win first-up over seven (furlongs) in a Group One, or they could win over 2000m.
“He is by Shocking and he has got all the right traits.
“He was quite a sparky horse and I don’t mind seeing that. Mick said to me that all his best horses had that spark in them.
“As he has matured, he is a lot more relaxed now, he conserves his energy better around the track.
“You saw that in his races. That day he won at Flemington when Jamie Kah rode him was the first time he properly settled, and that was the first time we really saw him boom home and win by four lengths, with a blistering turn of foot.
“He is learning all of the time and I think he is going to get better and better, and with that we will allow him to get a touch further.
“He has got a star factor about him. Terry Henderson has owned a lot of good horses and he thinks he is the best horse that he has ever owned. He is very exciting.”
Meanwhile, his full-brother Struck Twice is also proving to be an exciting prospect for the stable.
“He is a really nice horse,” Kent Jnr said. “He has got more length than I’m Thunderstruck and I think he is going to be a more 2000m-Derby type.
“He just covers the ground and goes one stride to the horse’s two beside you.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he does something in the autumn, but he is certainly more of a spring three-year-old type.”