Thunder Fantasy to determine future on Autumn Stakes run

By: Mark Mazzaglia
February 7th, 2014

Randwick trainer Anthony Cummings will get a better idea where he is heading with Thunder Fantasy after the three year old contests the Group 2 $220,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Thunder Fantasy, white cap on fence, runs third to Polanski, black, red and white, in the 2013 Victoria Derby.

Thunder Fantasy, white cap on fence, runs third to Polanski, black, red and white, in the 2013 Victoria Derby. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Cummings expects the 1400m of the Autumn Stakes to suit Thunder Fantasy perfectly first up but is still undecided if the colt will handle the 2400m of the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick later in the Autumn.

The Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1 is already pencilled in but where Cummings takes Thunder Fantasy after that is still up in the air.

“Depending on how he is going, I will then have the option of either staying in Melbourne for the Australian Cup or coming back to Sydney for the Randwick Guineas,” Cummings told Racing Network.

“I’m still thinking that his best run last time was over a mile at Newcastle, so we’ll just monitor things.

“Nothing is set but we’ll just see how he is progressing and make decisions on his form.”

The Group 1 WFA $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) is run at Flemington the week after the Australian Guineas while the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) is run at Randwick on March 15.

The lightly race son of Hong Kong Derby winner Lucky Owners is a winner of two races from seven starts, a Hawkesbury Maiden and a Class 1 over 1600m at Newcastle, but that didn’t stop Cummings from testing the colt against the top three year olds in the Spring.

Thunder Fantasy was beaten four and three quarter lengths when ninth to Complacent in the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 12 before running third to Polanski and Complacent in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2.

Thunder Fantasy is up against Polanski again in the Autumn Stakes and Cummings is hoping the Victoria Derby winner will go forward from his outside gate and put some pace into the race which will suit Thunder Fantasy who will jump from barrier three.

“They tell me Polanski is going to go forward from his wide gate so that should ensure a good speed, which is what he needs,” Cummings said

Polanski is also having his first run since winning the Victoria Derby and has been installed the $3.10 favourite for the Autumn Stakes in front of the David Payne trained Rock Hero at $5.50, Late Charge at $6 with Thunder Fantasy marked as a $7 chance.

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