A slightly new-look I’m Thunderstruck will present for Saturday’s Group 1 Futurity Stakes following potentially significant advice from champion rider Jamie Kah for connections to finally do away with his cross-over noseband.
Kah had earlier in the morning expressed her doubts to co-trainer Mick Price over the usefulness of the gear, which is primarily used to help stop a horse pulling in a race.
She later explained after galloping I’m Thunderstruck in his final tune-up at Ladbrokes Park Sandown on Tuesday.
“I just didn’t think it does anything. It restricts him a little bit and upsets him, ‘So let’s take it off’,” she told Price.
“(It’s used) to stop him pulling and hanging and with settling and all that but he’s matured. He doesn’t need it. It hinders him, if anything.
“I still say keep the one-eyed blinker on but the cross-over, I don’t think he needs it.
“I’ve just found he is so much softer without the cross-over on. I don’t think he needs it, but it’s something he used to need.
“He goes along at trackwork with a rubber bit on – like a really soft bit – and he’s got a really sensitive mouth on him, so I just said ‘Let’s just take it off if he’s happy with it’.
“Mick’s great. He’s one of those trainers that listens to every word you say and he said ‘Yep, no worries’ and we took it off.”
Price, who trains in partnership with Michael Kent Jnr, said he was happy to go along with Kah’s suggestion.
“She (Kah) asked me to take the cross-over noseband off. It’s only a subtle gear change in my opinion but he’s an older horse now so he probably doesn’t have a great need for it,” he said.
“She was of the opinion that he may resent it a little bit so it’s going to come off. Anyway, she’s got the hands, so no argument there.
“I thought it was a good idea to bring him out here because he was definitely too fresh first-up (Orr Stakes).
“He worked a nice 1000-metre gallop. She (Kah) said he was having a gig out there by himself, but I didn’t want to pair him up and get him too competitive. He’s got The All-Star Mile and a trip to Sydney in front of him.
“(I’m) very happy with the horse. I know his winning form is off but he’s going super.
“He’s good enough to win on Saturday if he can draw a gate and she gets him to break good too Jamie, so hopefully, he can get the money.”
I’m Thunderstruck is rated the $3.60 favourite for the Futurity.