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Tycoon Thunder hits competition for six

Photo credit: Peter Roy

501-7653.jpgBy Jordan Gerrans

It does not matter where the races are won, six in a row is a significant achievement anywhere across Queensland.

That is the view of experienced North Queensland hoop Frank Edwards when asked about the recent scintillating run of form from gelding Tycoon Thunder.

The son of Written Tycoon has been a bush bully in recent weeks, winning six in a row on the non-TAB circuit around FNQ, dodging the bigger stage of the 2021 TAB Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival so far.

Trained by clever horseman Ricky Ludwig, the stable has the $75,000 Country Stampede Final in Brisbane this December in mind with the sprinter and potentially a tilt at the 2022 TAB Battle of the Bush Final.  

The 57-year-old Edwards is not shying away from the potential Tycoon Thunder has shown in his six recent victories, all of which he has been in the saddle for. 

“Just looking ahead to a race like the Battle of the Bush and historically what has raced in the Finals, I think he would start favourite if the Final was next week, in the form Tycoon Thunder is in,” Edwards said.

“He is certainly up to it and certainly up to the Northern Carnivals, maybe not the features, but certainly a good support race.

“He would be up to a Cairns Lightning in a few weeks times if Ricky wanted to go that way.”

Ludwig, who was previously based at Beaudesert earlier in his training career, toyed with the idea of ending the gelding’s non-TAB run of starts last week when he was nominated for the Townsville Lightning at Cluden Park on Friday afternoon.

The veteran trainer did not accept his gelding into the race, an event Edwards thought Tycoon Thunder would win if he did go around, declaring the field Lightning Handicap was not “one of the ages.”

Instead, they went to Ludwig’s home track these days of Atherton and made it six on the trot on Sunday afternoon with the $20,000 purchase from Shane Nichols’ stable.

The man known as “Big Ricky” has opted to look after Tycoon Thunder in his first preparation since arriving from Melbourne, limiting his travel to the Atherton Tablelands area of FNQ, instead of heading to the provincial tracks in Cairns and Townsville.

501-7639.jpgFNQ race caller Bluey Forsyth was quick to proclaim the Ludwig and Edwards were starting to put together a “picket fence” not long after they cross the winning post on Sunday.

“It is a good effort in anyone's language,” Edwards quickly fired back when asked about the six victories in a row.

“The horse has been super impressive every time I have ridden him, even when he just scraped in at the start before Sunday at Mareeba, he carried 64.5 kgs that day, which is a fair bit of weight for any horse to carry.

“Ricky has an incredible strike rate and he really looks after his horses, they are his own horses as he does not train for other people.

“He is astute, he picks the right races for them.”

Edwards described his relationship with Ludwig as a “good partnership”, with the pair combining for triumphs with stablemates Serious Moves, Windmill Lane, Saxophone, District and Kodai, among others.

With more than enough non-TAB starts under his belt now to be eligible for the 2021 Country Stampede, Ludwig can now look at other options with the five-year-old.

Tycoon Thunder had won just once from 13 starts around Victoria with Nichols and now is unbeaten since relocating to FNQ.

“We’ll just go through his classes and see where he ends up, but I’m hoping to try for either the Country Stampede later this year or the Battle of the Bush next year,” Ludwig said.

 

“So that’s why he’s been going to the bush, to be honest, so all he’s got to do is win a qualifying race and he can go there.”

Country Stampede qualifiers will be held in FNQ at Atherton (October 9), Innisfail (October 16) and Cooktown (November 6) later this year.

With weight soon to get the best of Tycoon Thunder on the non-TAB scene, he has been nominated for a TAB race at Innisfail this Saturday, heading towards an Open Handicap over 1200 metres.

Tycoon Thunder Next Racing