By Glenn Davis
The John Symons-Sheila Laxon training partnership is hoping to play a major role during the Brisbane winter program with talented colt Thunder Mania, who makes his comeback at the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday.
Thunder Mania will take his first step towards a long-range goal in the Group 1 J J Atkins (1400m) at Eagle Farm in June when he resumes in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap (1200m).
Thunder Mania was on track to run in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast in January before he finished sixth in the Group 3 B J McLachlan over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm on December 28.
The B J McLachlan defeat followed his impressive 1200-metre win on debut at Doomben ten days earlier.
“We were getting him ready for the Magic Millions when he jarred up in the B J McLachlan,” Symons said.
“He’s had a good break since and had a couple of jump outs but he’s not wound up and he could be a bit vulnerable first-up over 1200 metres tomorrow.
“He probably would prefer it longer than 1200 metres and he might be a run short.
“But we’re happy with him at the moment although he’s drawn a bit awkward and the rail is out six metres.”
Thunder Mania was an $85,000 buy as a Magic Millions yearling and will be ridden by multiple Group 1 winning jockey Larry Cassidy.
Symons said consideration was given to using a claiming apprentice on Thunder Mania to offset his big weight of 62kgs before it was decided to stick with an experienced rider.
Symons will reassess Thunder Mania’s lead up program to the J J Atkins which has been reduced from its traditional 1600 metre distance to 1400 metres this year.
“I would have preferred the J J Atkins to have stayed at 1600 metres but 1400 metres will still be okay for him” he said.
“We’ll see how he goes tomorrow then we’ll have a look at what is the best path for him to the Atkins.
“The (Group 2) Champagne Stakes was marked down for him in his original winter carnival program but it might come up a bit quick in the revised carnival program.”
Racing Queensland webnews - April 28