Horses To Follow » Thunder Rock

Thunder Rock

Thunder Rock stayed on well to land the Premier Chase at Kelso on Saturday.  Sean Bowen was patient on Olly Murphy’s horse, he dropped him in early on and he didn’t panic when Minella Drama kicked for home on the run around the home turn.  Still only fifth at that point, fully nine or 10 lengths behind the leader, his rider allowed him make his ground gradually towards the leaders.  Still only fourth jumping the second last fence, he switched out wide, joined the leader at the last and stayed on strongly up the run-in to win well.

This was much more like it from Thunder Rock.  He was well-fancied for the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham two and a half months ago, but he didn’t jump well there, and was ultimately pulled up.  He ran well on his last run before Saturday in a two-and-a-half-mile contest at Musselburgh, keeping on well at the end over a trip that was probably on the sharp side for him.  The handicapper raised him by 10lb to a mark of 156 for Saturday’s win, but his trainer said after Saturday’s race that he could run next in the Aintree Bowl.  That would be a big step up in grade, but he is a talented horse and he is still unexposed at staying trips – his only run before this over a distance in excess of two and a half miles was in the Brown Advisory Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival – so he could be interesting if he did line up in the Bowl.

Kelso, 2nd March 2024