OTI are hopeful a swift decision to book Hugh Bowman returns the ultimate dividend for I’m Thunderstruck in the Golden Eagle.
Connections quickly booked Bowman earlier this month with regular rider Jye McNeil unable to make the trip.
Since then a number of Sydney’s top jockeys have made the trip south to ride in the Victorian Carnival, slightly pillaging the state’s riding ranks.
“We couldn’t get Jye to Sydney, obviously he’s down here, and with the restrictions that were on, that wasn’t going to happen,” OTI Racing CEO Terry Henderson said.
“(Jye’s) got commitments in the Derby down here (Melbourne), and the Cantala as well, I didn’t get involved in the discussions but I’m sure Mick Price would’ve, and would’ve given Jye the first option.
“We had a question mark against who was going to be available, because James (McDonald) has come to Melbourne, and Nash (Rawiller) as well, so really the Sydney jockey ranks all of a sudden started to melt
“Fortunately Huey’s (Hugh Bowman) decided to stay in Sydney.”
The Rosehill G1 feature will be the first right-handed race for the four-year-old son of Shocking, but Henderson is confident the gelding is more than capable.
“We bought him off a trial going right-handed, that’s what impressed him about us,” Henderson said.
“If it was at Randwick he’d probably prefer it, but Rosehill is where we are, and hopefully he’ll get around it OK.”
Several Victorian-based owners are still hopeful of being trackside for the big race, but Covid border restrictions would need to be relaxed.
“Us owners we’re all keen to go up to that race obviously, we can get home OK, but we can’t get there,” Henderson said.
“Things are changing so often, if on the Thursday we get a chance to fly up on the Friday I’m sure a few of our owners will go up.”
I’m Thunderstruck will be sent to the paddock regardless of where he finishes in the Golden Eagle, with a tilt at the All-Star Mile hopefully on the Autumn horizon.
“If everything goes well he’s probably a nice horse to have for a race like the All-Star Mile, given it’s at Flemington this time.”
I’m Thunderstruck is the $3.50 favourite for the G1 XXXX Golden Eagle next Saturday at Rosehill.
This article was written by Tim Yeatman for racing.com and can be viewed in its original form here.