Trainer John Sargent is confident that Thunder Lady will have no problem running out the 2014 Crown Oaks trip of 2500 metres in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Thunder Lady failed to record a race win from her first six race starts, but she relished the step-up up to 2000 metres in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and she stamped herself as a genuine Crown Oaks contender by recording a tough staying win.
Sargent told RSN this morning that Thunder Lady had always given him the impression that she would perform at her best when given an opportunity over a staying trip and he is confident that the Mastercraftsman filly would relish the step-up to 2500 metres for the 2014 Crown Oaks.
“She certainly showed when she got over a bit of ground that her best is going to be seen and I think that the 2500 today is going to be right up her alley,” Sargent said.
“Let’s just hope there is some speed on because the breeding is there and we just want a trouble free run, so she can get out in the straight and get at them.”
Blake Shinn steered Thunder Lady to victory in the Wakeful Stakes, but he will miss Crown Oaks Day due to suspension and leading hoop Tommy Berry has been booked to take the ride.
Berry was on Kirramosa in the Wakeful Stakes before Nash Rawiller took over the ride in the Crown Oaks and Sargent is hoping that Berry can be rewarded with a maiden win at Group 1 level in Victoria.
“Tommy Berry has come out to ride her and he is very happy,” Sargent said.
“He first rode her when she was very unlucky second in a maiden at Hawkesbury, so he knows the horse, and he is very pleased with the way that she has gone on.
“It is sad for Blake this time, but it was sad for Tommy last year.
“It would be great for Tommy; he puts in a lot of hours at Randwick and he rides all of Gai’s in the morning, but he comes over to ride some of mine and other trainers in the morning.
“He is world class and he missed out in the Melbourne Cup, so let’s hope that he can get the Oaks.”
Thunder Lady is currently available at Crown Oaks odds of $7.50 and she is on the fourth line of betting behind Go Indy Go ($4.40), Lumosty ($4.80) and Crafty ($5).