Spring stars return to the races

Popular OTI horses I’m Thunderstruck and Daqiansweet Junior will make their respective return to the races this Saturday at Sandown.

After a very exciting and successful preparation for I’m Thunderstruck in the 2022 autumn and spring, his return is eagerly anticipated for many racing followers. His spring campaign alone included six Group 1 starts, with him recording a win in the Makybe Diva Stakes and three 2nd placings, one of them in the Cox Plate.

After winning trials at Cranbourne and Geelong and a gallop at Sandown on Tuesday morning, all connected (including new jockey Jamie Kah) are very pleased with him.

I’m Thunderstruck winning his second trial at Geelong on January 31, 2023 with Jamie Kah onboard.

“He is perfect. He went straight, did everything I asked him to do and finished off strong. He had a little blow, but is definitely ready for Saturday.”, said Kah after Tuesday’s gallop.

‘Thunder’ will return in the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (Race 7) in a field of 10, jumping from barrier 9. Going up against stablemate Jacquinot, who has received just as much praise over the last few weeks, will certainly make it an interesting race with other star horses like Mr Brightside and Tuvalu also making their return in the race.

See all race details and the full field here.

Also returning on Saturday is Melbourne Cup contender Daqiansweet Junior. The Adelaide Cup winner was unfortunate not to win in his last preparation, but proved to be most competitive, running a very good 6th in the Melbourne Cup.

After a couple trials at his home track in Pakenham, trainer Phillip Stokes thinks the gelding is in very good order and ready to return for his autumn campaign.

Daqiansweet Junior having a very positive second trial (red silks with black & white sleeves).

“He gave me a beautiful feel. He bounced out nicely, we let the speed go, but he just kept taking up underneath me and wanted to go through, he wanted to make runs and he wanted to be in front, he’s going very well.”, said Daniel Moor after his second trial at Pakenham.

With the main goal being the Sydney Cup in early April, trainer Phillip Stokes hopes to give the gelding a couple of runs in the lead up to his target to have him at peak fitness. Having started and finished 3rd in last year’s Sydney Cup, we already know that he is most competitive over the trip and hope he can bring it home this year.

‘DJ’ will kick off his prep with the Group 3 Carlyon Cup at Sandown over 1600m with Daniel Moor onboard.

See the full field and all race details here.

We look forward to an exciting weekend ahead with a few more runners on the card as well.

Best of luck to all involved!