Ken Condon senses plenty is in place for Thunder Beauty as she bids to provide him and owner David Kelly with a second success in Carlisle’s British Stallion Studs EBF Eternal Stakes.
Elusive Beauty struck in the 2017 edition of Wednesday’s Listed feature for Condon, in the same colours, and connections have again enlisted the services of Danny Tudhope – who was on board four years ago.
Thunder Beauty will receive 3lb from Mick Channon’s Goodwood Listed winner Illykato, so is marginally favoured on ratings alongside Ralph Beckett’s Meu Amor – while the most obvious potential improver in an eight-strong field is the unbeaten Cloudy Dawn, from William Haggas’ yard.
Kildare trainer Condon will be pleased to see a little of the forecast rain to bolster hopes, but is confident a return to seven furlongs in this grade is the right assignment after Thunder Beauty stayed on well from an unfavourable position to be beaten under four lengths in Group Three company at the Curragh.
He said: “There was a bit of an element of taking our medicine there, with the last race, in so far as the draw she had just meant that (jockey) Niall (McCullagh) had to take his time with her.
“But we were very happy the way she finished out her race, and she needed to do that after running so poorly at Newmarket (when last of 11 in the 1000 Guineas).
“It was important to try to get her back on track, and we were happy with the way she went through the race well (at the Curragh), and she did finish off nicely from an unpromising position.
“This is a race that the owner has been lucky in before – we had a horse that won the race a few years ago, with Daniel riding her as well.”
Condon set Thunder Beauty a tough task when she went for Classic glory on her seasonal debut, but she put herself in that bracket with some high-class juvenile form – including a close fifth in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes, over this trip.
“This filly has obviously shown nice form as a two-year-old, particularly in the Moyglare – so we hope she can run a nice race,” he added.
“I see there’s a chance of rain on Wednesday. So if we did get that, it would be a positive.
“All in all, we’ve been happy with her since her Curragh run, and hope she can run well.”
Thunder Beauty was equipped with a tongue strap for the first time three weeks ago, and will run with one again at Carlisle.
“We needed to make a few changes after Newmarket,” said Condon.
“The ground was quite quick, but we couldn’t really find anything obvious to explain it.
“But back to the Curragh, over six, she did finish out well – and she obviously had that very good run in the Moyglare over seven, so I think this trip will be fine.
“I just would prefer nice, safe ground with no jar, so I wouldn’t mind a bit of rain.
“If it did come on Wednesday afternoon, I’d say that would help her.
“We’re willing to take a chance. I’m sure it’s nice ground – I see the official description is good to firm, good in places. But with that chance of rain, we’d welcome it if it did come.”
Haggas is mindful that Cloudy Dawn is still rated a stone below three of her rivals, having taken her career record to a perfect three from three in a Yarmouth handicap at the start of this month.
She is also moving up to seven furlongs for the first time.
Her Newmarket trainer said: “She’s got a bit to find on the figures, but she’s entitled to have a shot at a race like that – she’s done nothing wrong.
“I think she’ll get the trip – I think she wants a trip now.
“It is a decent race, but all Listed races are difficult.”
Elsewhere on a very competitive card, Keith Dalgleish trains two of four joint top-weights – Howzer Black and Chichester – in the course’s signature race, the Stablemate By AGMA Carlisle Bell Handicap.
David O’Meara’s eight-year-old Waarif receives just 1lb from the top four as he returns to try to regain the crown he won in 2018.