If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.
That is the approach Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr will be taking with their unbeaten colt Illation this spring, as he looks to replicate his stablemate’s feats of 2021 by taking out the now-$10 million Golden Eagle (1500m) in October.
The soon-to-be four-year-old has won all three of his career starts – including two at Listed level during the Adelaide Autumn Carnival – and he couldn’t have been more impressive in doing so.
Sent out at average odds of $1.53 across his three starts, Illation justified those numbers with a combined winning margin of 9.4 lengths, proving himself to be one of the most exciting horses in Australia leading into the 2022 spring carnival.
On Racing.com, Kent confirmed plans for the son of So You Think.
“Very excited and he’s come back super,” the co-trainer said.
“He’s a bull, he’s in the zone – we made a plan to have him an active spell, so he was worked twice a week – he’s not too heavy, he’s in great shape, his coat’s beautiful.
“I think he’ll also kick off on the 27th of August, and we’d love to take him via the (Sir) Rupert Clarke (Stakes), Toorak (Handicap), into the Golden Eagle – so the same as Thunder’s (I’m Thunderstruck’s) plan last year and all has gone well so far.”
2022 GOLDEN EAGLE
3yo Colt | So You Think x Pontiana | T: Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr
While the Golden Eagle was I’m Thunderstruck’s target 12 months ago, he has other fish to fry in Melbourne this spring, with the famous W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) his goal.
The son of Shocking went winless through his autumn preparation, but he did finish second in both the All-Star Mile (1600m) and Doncaster Handicap (1600m), so the stable is confident he will hold his own in Australia’s premier weight-for-age contest.
With the Memsie Stakes (1400m) his first-up target, I’m Thunderstruck is likely to have three jump-outs in preparation for an all-Group 1 campaign.
“He’ll be a lot more forward this time around,” Kent said.
“He’s racing first-up in the Memsie, August 27, so plenty time to have two, maybe three, jump-outs. The horse had his first grass gallop on the weekend – he worked beautifully over 1000m – and he’s right and ready to go for the Memsie.
“That’ll (Cox Plate) be his fifth-up run, so he’ll probably go to the Makybe (Diva Stakes), Underwood (Stakes), Caulfield Stakes (now Might And Power Stakes) – that sort of program is what Mick and I have in store at the moment – everything’s fluid, but the main thing is he’s going super.”
2022 COX PLATE
4yo Gelding | Shocking x Primadonna Girl | T: Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr