Lightly raced entire Thronum has snared a valuable Group Two win in the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley and will now be given his chance to chase a Group One success.
Thronum was having his first start since November in Friday night’s 1200m weight-for-age feature at Moonee Valley and controlled the race from the front under Mark Zahra before kicking clear in the straight.
In a field of six, Thronum ($6.50) defeated Mr Sneaky ($4.20) by 1-1/4 lengths with Stellar Collision ($17) another long neck away third.
Favourite Brave Smash ($2.20) moved up to challenge Thronum approaching the home turn but weakened to finish fifth in his first start since his third in the $10 million The Everest at Randwick in October.
Stewards reported Brave Smash pulled up with a slow recovery rate.
Thronum won the Listed Rosebud and was third in the Up And Coming Stakes as a three-year-old when trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott before spending a year off the scene recovering from an injury.
Since joining the Lindsay Park stable of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Thronum has won by five lengths at Bendigo last November before finishing a close third in the Group Three Kevin Heffernan Stakes later that month.
Thronum remained in work ahead of his return in the Australia Stakes which was his 10th career start, and Dabernig believes the best is still to come.
“He’s a well-bred colt that’s got a stack of ability. And he’s going places,” Dabernig told broadcaster Racing.com.
“We’ve got a lot of options and we’ll be aiming at a Group One with him now.
“I’m not sure if it will be sprinting in an Oakleigh Plate or a Newmarket or whether we go up to 1400 metres in the C F Orr Stakkes.
“But there’s plenty of options.”