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Dewhurst under consideration for impressive National Stakes winner Thunder Moon

Mon 14 Sep 2020

The Dewhurst Stakes is a possible next port of call for Joseph O’Brien’s Thunder Moon following his impressive display at the Curragh on Sunday.

An emphatic winner on his racecourse debut over the course and distance little over a month ago, the son of Zoffany faced a big step up in class for the Group One National Stakes.

However, O’Brien’s youngster vindicated his trainer’s decision to supplement for the race – displaying a devastating change of gear to leave his rivals trailing in his wake and rocket to the head of ante-post lists for next year’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The Piltown handler watched the action at the Curragh unfold from home as a precaution following jockey Shane Crosse’s positive test for Covid-19 on Friday.

Thunder Moon impressed in the National Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend

Speaking on Monday morning, O’Brien said of Thunder Moon: “We were very happy with him. It was a bit of a messy race, but he showed a great turn of foot to go away and win well.

“We did supplement him, so we were hopeful he’d run a nice race, but I suppose I was surprised by the manner of his victory.”

Considering future plans, he added: “If he was to run again this year, the Dewhurst would probably be the race for him, but we’ll see how he comes out of the race on Sunday and a lot will depend on the ground as well.

“The Breeders’ Cup is there as an option as well, but that wouldn’t be on my radar at the moment. He’s an exciting colt.”

O’Brien was widely expected to land top-level honours in the preceding Moyglare Stud Stakes with Pretty Gorgeous, who was a hot favourite to supplement her course and distance win in the Debutante.

Watch a full replay of the Debutante Stakes

However, Debutante runner-up Shale – trained by Joseph’s brother Donnacha – reversed the form with a narrow success.

O’Brien said: “Pretty Gorgeous ran a great race. I think the two of them are very good fillies and whichever one of them gets the rub of the green on the day might come out on top.

“We’ll see how our filly comes out of it, but we have the option of the Fillies’ Mile or the Prix Marcel Boussac and there’s also the Breeders’ Cup.

“We’ll see how we go, but I’d say she probably just wants one more run this year, with Newmarket and France being the likeliest options.”

OPTIONS OPEN FOR GALILEO CHROME

O’Brien is in no rush to firm up future plans for his Pertemps St Leger hero Galileo Chrome.

The Australia colt was well fancied for the final Classic of the British Flat season at Doncaster on Saturday, having won each of his three previous starts this season at the Curragh, Leopardstown and Navan.

Galileo Chrome displayed class and courage to come out on top under a delighted Tom Marquand – a late substitute in the saddle for Irish apprentice Shane Crosse, who was forced to watch on from home after testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday.

O’Brien’s charge has now returned to County Kilkenny and the Piltown handler is keen to let the dust settle before considering the next course of attack.

“He’s home safe and sound. We were delighted with his performance and it was a special day,” he said.

“We’ll discuss things with his owners. We have a few different options for him and there’ll be no decision on where we go just yet.

“He’s entered in plenty of races and we can put him in any races he’s not in.

“At this stage we’ll just wait and see how he comes out of the race, speak with the owners and take it from there.”

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