Thunder Fantasy Wins HK Classic Cup
Widden Stud foaled and raised Thunder Fantasy hit top form at Sha Tin on Sunday when taking out the Hong Kong Classic Cup HK Gr 1 with a tenacious drive along the inside.
A winner of the Group II MRC Autumn Classic at this time last year and Group I placed in the Victoria Derby, Australian Guineas and Rosehill Guineas, four year-old Thunder Fantasy was dispatched to Hong Kong last year to be trained by John Size and has gradually worked his way into form.
Taking on the 1800 metre Hong Kong Classic Cup at his fourth run for his new trainer, Thunder Fantasy raced up on the pace throughout and refused to lie down in the run to the line, worrying runner up Redkirk Warrior out of the prize to snatch a nose win.
“It looked like the horse on my outside was going to win it but then suddenly I felt he didn’t go through with it,” said winning jockey Karis Teetan, who lifted his mount in the final strides to nick the verdict by a nose.
“My horse actually went again, so it was a very good win. I’m just over the moon!”
The victory, a first at Group 1 level in Hong Kong for Teetan, thrust the John Size-trained winner into contention for next month’s HKG1 BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m).
Size was full of praise for Thunder Fantasy, whose sire, Lucky Owners, won the 2004 Hong Kong Derby.
“Mr Chiu (owner) owned the horse when he raced in Melbourne and he ran third in the Victoria Derby there over 2500m as a three-year-old, which is a pretty good effort; so therefore his staying credentials were already in place. It was just a matter of him making the adjustment to Hong Kong and training up well coming through the preliminary races,” said Size.
“He hasn’t put a foot wrong the time he’s been here, even though he’s a colt, and his temperament’s been fine. He’s done exactly as we’d hoped – as the distances have gone further he’s looked a little bit better.”
Retained to race by his breeder, Thunder Fantasy has the overall record of four wins from 16 starts and may well emulate the success of his sire in the rich Hong Kong Derby.
Foaled and raised at Widden Stud, Thunder Fantasy is the first foal of winning Galileo (IRE) mare Pink Pier, a half-sister to stakes-placed Benarrivo from the family of Group III winning fillies Bliss Street and Jade Marauder.
Bred on a very successful nick between Danehill and Galileo, Thunder Fantasy is one of six stakes-winners for former Champion HK Miler Lucky Owners, who stands at Widden on a fee on application basis.
His success capped a great weekend for Widden Stud bred horses with star miler Dissident (4h Sebring x Diana’s Secret) successful in the Group I MRC CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.