For O’Brien, Thunder Moon is on a royal redemption mission.
Thunder Moon’s poor performance in the 2000 Guineas has been put to rest by Joseph O’Brien, who hopes he will bounce back in the St James’s Palace Stakes next week.
The three-year-old colts’ race at Royal Ascot frequently attracts Guineas formlines as well as those who were unable to compete in the Classics for various reasons.
Thunder Moon was an 11-2 longshot at Newmarket, but he finished last of the 14 horses.
“Thunder Moon underperformed at Newmarket, so we’ve put a stop to that campaign. We were looking forward to the Irish Guineas, but when the ground appeared soft – as it was – we diverted to Ascot, and his preparation has gone well,” O’Brien said on Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast.
“We didn’t have much of an excuse because nothing really came to light other than the fact that he was furious before to the race. He’s been well since then; regrettably, these things happen, and we’ve simply drawn a line under it.
“There’s always the potential (that he hasn’t been schooled on), but his job at home has been pleasant.” He’s always been a hard worker, and his work in preparation for this race has been excellent. It’s impossible to tell until they do it on the track, and that’s where it counts.
“I believe it is a suitable race for him; it is a pretty easy mile compared to the Curragh, and it is surely easier than that, so it appears to be a decent event for him. I believe he goes in with a slim chance, but a fair opportunity if he can regain his best form.”
Pretty Gorgeous, O’Brien’s leading juvenile filly from last year, had to miss Newmarket and finished seventh in the Irish Guineas.
“She’s done a fantastic job. It was well documented we didn’t have the smoothest of runs with her but I was pleased with her at the Curragh, I was pleased with her comeback run and I’m excited to get her out again,” said O’Brien.
“I believe her optimal ground is on the less difficult side of. (This is a brief piece.)