Price confident I’m Thunderstruck is right for Futurity Stakes

I'm Thunderstruck wins Golden Eagle
I’m Thunderstruck is one of the market fancies for the Group 1 Futurity Stakes this Saturday. (Steve Hart)

Rising star I’m Thunderstruck will be looking for his second career Group 1 win on Saturday in the Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

The Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr-trained galloper got a long way back first-up over the same track and trip a fortnight ago in the C.F. Orr Stakes. On that occasion he finished midfield, beaten 3.25 lengths in a race where Tofane led all the way. Tofane is again a competitor for I’m Thunderstruck on Saturday, but the Price/Kent team will be hoping things are a little different this time around.

Price openly discussed the fact that I’m Thunderstruck was underdone going into his first-up assignment. He still managed to finish off strongly, though, in a race where nothing was able to make much ground.

There’s no doubt that Tofane will yet again be a tough galloper to beat. She’s a four-time Group 1 winner and has an exceptional record over 1400m, winning four from six and being placed at her only other two starts at that trip.

The mare did have things go her way last start, though, as the predicted leader, Lightsaber, missed the start hopelessly and gifted Tofane an uncontested lead. The Michael Moroney-trained runner was then able to get off the fence coming into the straight, into what was seen as the better going on the day.

The Shane Nichols-trained Streets Of Avalon looks to be the likely leader on Saturday, with the imported mare Turaath also capable of pushing forward. As such, it looks unlikely that Tofane will get the comfortable lead that she enjoyed last time out.

There have been eight acceptances for the 2022 Futurity Stakes. This smaller field, compared to the Orr Stakes a fortnight ago, could ensure that I’m Thunderstruck isn’t as far back on this occasion.

When Price was asked on RSN how much his gelding had improved since his first-up run, the trainer replied, “A good few lengths”.

“He’s spot on, his recovery is good, so I think he can win,” he continued.

“Weight-for-age, it sorts out the men from the boys, and I think he’s a weight-for-age horse.”

Despite Price being confident of a good showing on the weekend, he also has longer term plans for his exciting galloper.

“He can win, but he’ll improve into the All-Star Mile, and he’ll improve again into the Doncaster (Mile).

“I think our four-run prep for him is fine, I don’t want to do too much with him. Then I’ll be setting him for a Cox Plate.

“I think he’ll be beautiful when he matures up over 2000 metres.”

I’m Thunderstruck has drawn barrier seven and opened up as a $4 second favourite on Sportsbet for the Futurity Stakes, with Tofane leading the market at $2.60 after drawing barrier three.

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