A five-year-old son of Exchange Rate, Thundering Blue has both Group 2 and Group 3 crowns to his name. In less than 10 days, the Kentucky-bred will look to lower the boom on the competition and earn his first Grade 1 victory in the $800,000 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine Racetrack.
Trained by David Menuisier for Mr. Clive Washbourn, the grey, who will venture to Canada for the first time, has produced four consecutive strong performances.
Two starts ago, Thundering Blue eked out a neck nod in the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes on July 28.
Runner-up in the John Smith's Cup over the same course and distance two weeks prior, he went one better to give Menuisier his first Group winner.
“His Group 2 win at York was magical as it was his first attempt in a pattern race,” he noted. “He spent the whole of his career in handicaps. He went from a below average handicapper to a very talented one in the space of 12 months, giving us the feeling he was a pattern-class horse. The Group 2 win confirmed what we thought of him.”
Menuisier was taken aback by the York triumph.
“I can't believe it,” he said after the race. “I'm still in shock. He's now five, but he just keeps improving and improving. We were very unlucky here last time, so this is our revenge. He takes every yard of that trip to come and win, but there's something about York that he loves, so why not (run in the Juddmonte)?”
Dismissed at 50-1 in the Group 1 Juddmonte, contested at 1 5/16-miles at York, Thundering Blue, under Fran Berry, finished third to Roaring Lion.
“The real pinnacle was to finish in the frame against a regal opposition, beating the winners of the 2000 Guineas, Dubai World Cup, Dubai Duty Free, Irish Derby and St James's Palace Stakes,” offered Menuisier.
On September 23, Berry and ‘Blue' teamed to take the 12-furlong, Group 3 Stockholm Cup at Bro Park in Sweden by two lengths.
Now, the six-time winner from 20 starts will venture across the pond and onto the International scene.
Menuisier is eager to see how his charge fares on the world-renowned E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
“I have never been to Woodbine before, but I have spoken to a few experts about the course and everybody tells me it is a very European-like turf course with a decent final straight, so I am looking forward to being there and see it with my own eyes. It should suit Thundering Blue as he has been so versatile so far winning races at Epsom, Newmarket, Sandown, York and Bro Park – five tracks that are all drastically so different.”
Berry, aboard for Thundering Blue's last four starts, gets the call for the International.
Menuisier will arrive at Woodbine on October 10, two days after Thundering Blue takes up residence on the Toronto oval backstretch.
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