Champion jockey Richard Hughes enjoyed a fruitful Epsom with the highlight being the shock win of Talent in the Investec Oaks.
Thunder Strike’s success at the same fixture in the listed Investec Woodcote Stakes was another highlight for the popular rider who believes the unbeaten colt will go well once again at Royal Ascot later this month.
Thunder Strike was always travelling best throughout the six furlong Epsom contest, handling the track with ease before bounding to the front at the two furlong from home marker.
From there the son of Sakhee’s Secret easily quickened away from his 10 rivals to eventually cross the line some three-and-a-half lengths clear of Mick Channon’s well regarded Rivebrboat Springs.
A comfortable winner at Doncaster on his racecourse bow four weeks earlier, Hannon’s colt followed up in a decent three-runner conditions event at Windsor a fortnight later before landing his hat-trick at Epsom.
Connections are now pondering whether to bid for the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes over five furlongs at the royal meeting, or go for the Group 2 Coventry Stakes – the race won 12 months ago by the brilliant juvenile and subsequent 2000 Guineas winner, Dawn Approach – a contest for which he is currently available at around 12/1 in the Royal Ascot odds.
Hughes pointed out after his Woodcote Stakes win that Thunder Strike has tremendous early pace and the task of his rider is to attempt to conserve enough energy for the colt to see out his race, something the champion jockey achieved in style in making it three from three on the young speedster.
Hannon has a fine recent record in the Coventry Stakes have scored with the high-class Canford Cliffs in 2009 and with the classy Strong Suit in 2010, while he has won the Norfolk Stakes on three occasions, most recently with Baron’s Pit (2002). His horses are certainly worth a Royal Ascot bet, this season.