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Thunder ready to roll at Carlisle

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.

Ken Condon outlines Classic aims for star fillies

Ken Condon is preparing both Thunder Beauty and Miss Amulet for tilts at Guineas glory – with Thunder Beauty heading to Newmarket and Miss Amulet bound for France.

Thunder Beauty made a big impression on her racecourse debut at the Curragh last summer before going on to finish fifth in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and seventh in the Prix Marcel Boussac in Paris.

The Night Of Thunder filly will be an outsider for the Qipco 1000 Guineas over the Rowley Mile on May 2, but Condon believes she could outrun her odds.

He said: “Thunder Beauty will go straight for the 1000 Guineas. She seems to be very well and is forward in her coat. Her fast work up to this point has gone very well. She’ll take her chance in Newmarket.

“She’s relatively lightly-raced. She won her maiden at the Curragh nicely and I thought she ran a lovely race in the Moyglare from an outside draw.

“I’d forgive her France. It was very bad ground and there was a bit of barging and scrimmaging in the straight. Billy (Lee) looked after her when her chance had gone.

“She’ll be a big price, but she’s by a nice sire and we’re happy with her.”

Stablemate Miss Amulet won three of her eight starts as a juvenile, including a notable Group Two success over Wednesday’s Nell Gwyn Stakes winner Sacred in the Lowther at York.

She rounded off her campaign with two excellent efforts in defeat – finishing second in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket and third at the Breeders’ Cup – and Condon views the French 1000 Guineas as a suitable target.

“Miss Amulet will hopefully start back in the French 1000 Guineas. She’ll go straight there on May 16,” the trainer added.

“She had a very good year last year and kept progressing. She finished off with a third in the Breeders’ Cup over a mile.

“Longchamp might be the most suitable place for her to run in a Classic. In future she may come back in trip.

“Hopefully she has trained on – you never really know until they run.

“She’s done well physically, she looks well and is training nicely. All the signs are pretty good. She’ll take her chance and we’ll make a plan after that.”

Two other three-year-olds Condon is looking forward to campaigning this season are Teresa Mendoza and Laws Of Indices.

Teresa Mendoza has not been seen since finishing 10th in the Moyglare in September, while Laws of Indices was not disgraced in finishing fifth on his reappearance in the 2,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown last weekend.

Condon said: “Teresa Mendoza is another nice filly and she will start back in the Polonia (Listed race) in Cork on May 7.

“She looks a pacey filly and disappointed in the Moyglare. She won her maiden first time up and ran very well behind New Treasure on very heavy ground in a Group Three at the Curragh.

“Hopefully she gets on a nice surface and it looks a nice race to start her back

“I was pleased with Laws Of Indices at Leopardstown. I thought he ran well carrying a penalty.

“There are a few people involved and a decision will have to be made whether to run him over six or seven furlongs. He can be a bit slowly away from stalls.

“He could go for the Lacken Stakes (six-furlong Group Three at Naas on May 16), or the Jersey at Royal Ascot is an option over seven.”

Of his two-year-old squad, the trainer added: “We’ll probably run the first of them next week. We have a good team of them and there is a Bated Breath filly and a Hot Streak that are ready to go.

“It’s still early days, but they are shaping up well.”