Night Of Thunder Strikes Again

Mark Smith - Sunday January 26

Twenty-four hours after a milestone first stakes winner in Australia with A Beautiful Night in the Blue Diamond Preview at Caulfield, Darley Stud’s one season shuttler Night Of Thunder (IRE) struck again when the Lindsay Park debutant Riverina Storm powered home from near last in an impressive debut over 1100 metres at Geelong on Sunday.

With Damien Oliver in the saddle, Riverina Storm drifted back in the early stages looking for a position. She still had just two behind her on straightening but when Oliver eased her out to the centre of the track she unleashed with an impressive turn of foot to defeat Plucky Pirouette (Brazen Beau) by a length and a half with Jerle (Exceed And Excel) a short-head back in third.Night Of Thunder

“She’s been trialling well and we expected a big run and she delivered,” Oliver said.

“Even though she showed speed in her trials I thought from a wide gate a number would kick up underneath her and I was wary about burning the candle at both ends.

“Lindsay Park representative Gino Mata said the filly will be tested a stakes level at her next start.

“Damien let the race pan out and he picked his way through the field. It was full of merit because she had to come down the centre of the field by herself," Mata said.

“We will give her a chance in the Blue Diamond so if she does well, in 13 days time, she will be going to the Prelude.”

A $31,000 weanling purchase by  Allhill Pty Ltd out of Merrivale Farm draft at the 2018 Inglis Great Southern Sale, Riverina Storm is the seventh named foal and sixth winner out of the Royal Academy (USA) mare Morwell whose Zoustar yearling colt was consigned to the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast by Three Bridges Farm but failed to make his $360,000 reserve.

Morwell is a half-sister to stakes-winner Jestarella Boy and stakes-placed Jolly’s Folly and to the dam of the Group II ATC Skyline Stakes winner Diamond Tathagata.

Also the sire of the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes third River Night, Europe’s Champion First Crop Sire Night Of Thunder is looking more and more like a sad loss after not returning from his debut season in 2016.


Race Result - Bet365 Mdn Plate 1100m

Geelong Track: Good(4) Time: 1:05.58
Riverina Storm
T: D & B Hayes & T Dabernig J: D Oliver 56
2f Night Of Thunder (IRE) x Morwell (AUS) (Royal Academy (USA))
Plucky Pirouette
T: Caroline Jennings J: Jilver Chamafi 56
2f Brazen Beau (AUS) x Queen Of Eight (AUS) (Haradasun (AUS))
T: James Cummings J: B Rawiller 58
2c Exceed And Excel (AUS) x Shannara (AUS) (Octagonal (NZ))
Epic Player
T: Robert Hickmott J: J Bowditch 58
2g Reward For Effort (AUS) x Muppets (AUS) (Snippets (AUS))
The Catch
T: M Ellerton & S Zahra J: Damian Lane 58
2c Medaglia D'Oro (USA) x Curtana (AUS) (Exceed And Excel (AUS))
Miss Bosetti
T: P & P Snowden J: Ben Thompson 56
2f Snitzel (AUS) x Miss Iguacu (AUS) (Encosta De Lago (AUS))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $210,000
V:Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSW
B: GPI Trust No 2/Andrew Williams Bloodstock
Queen Brahmos
T: M Ellerton & S Zahra J: Damien Thornton 56
2f Smart Missile (AUS) x Sonic Queen (AUS) (Lope De Vega (IRE))
T: M Price & M Kent Jnr J: Zac Spain 56
2f Sepoy (AUS) x Here De Speaker (AUS) (Dehere (USA))
Storm's Colours
T: Anthony Chibnall J: J Baldock 58
2g Fighting Sun (AUS) x Areyoutalkintome (NZ) (One Cool Cat (USA))
Old Time Rock
T: M D Moroney J: M J Dee 58
2c Pride Of Dubai (AUS) x Sarah Vee (AUS) (End Sweep (USA))
Milton Park
T: J F Moloney J: Jordan Childs 58
2c Written Tycoon (AUS) x Gawne (AUS) (Flying Spur (AUS))
High Expectations
T: D R Brideoake J: W Egan 56
2f Exceed And Excel (AUS) x Grand Strategy (AUS) (Strategic (AUS))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $210,000
V:Amarina Farm, Denman, NSW
B: Sun Bloodstock
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