Thunder ready to rumble in Underwood

I’m Thunderstruck is showing signs of his toughness as he gears up for the Cox Plate.

I'm Thunderstruck is ticking all the boxes for his trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr as he progresses towards his spring goal of the Cox Plate

Next step on that journey is the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Sandown on Sunday as the New Zealand-bred five-year-old aims to go back-to-back at weight-for-age level. 

I'm Thunderstruck chased down Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10 in a run that Price expected to take a toll on the gelding. 

"I thought he would pull-up for a couple of days jaded," Price said. 

"Sunday morning, he was good and then Monday he was good, and I think he's a better horse now than he was last prep. 

"He was a little bit fatter last prep, for whatever reason and we didn't catch him right, but he still ran well in the All-Star Mile, and he was fantastic in The Doncaster. 

"This time he's right in the zone. He's not feeling hard runs which is good horses' stuff." 

I'm Thunderstruck has been past 1 m only once in his career, finishing sixth on a heavy track in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last April. 

That came a week after finishing a close second to Underwood rival Mr Brightside in the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m). 

Price does not see the trip being a problem, especially in a small field at weight-for-age. 

"It's a small field. There'll be one out in front, Alligator Blood, the rest will be in a bunch," Price said. 

"It's not like a frenetic 1800 metres. At weight-for-age, they roll around and then they sprint. 

"He's a weight-for-age horse so I don't think the tempo will be against him and I think the 1 1⁄8 m will be fine. 

"You would be rubbing your hands together if you are the MRC. Apart from Anamoe and maybe one or two others, these are the Cox Plate horses." 

After Sunday, I'm Thunderstruck will head to the Group 1 Might And Power Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 8 then two weeks later to the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley

"That's always been the plan," Price said. 

"It's a good program, a busy race program, still a good program if you get it right. 

"So far so good." 

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