Inside barrier has positives for Thunderstruck

Even before Wednesday’s barrier draw, Michael Kent Jnr was keen to see I’m Thunderstruck (NZ) (Shocking) settle closer than usual in this weekend’s A$1 million Gr.1 The Might And Power (2000m) at Caulfield.

Coming up with the inside alley has only solidified the co-trainer’s desire to see that happen.

The five-year-old son of Shocking will start from the same barrier he won the Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes from two starts ago in what shapes as a Cox Plate-defining race.

“We wanted to ride him a touch closer and he won the Makybe (Diva Stakes) from barrier one,” Kent, who trains in partnership with Mick Price, said.

“He’s a horse that can take a tight run and get himself out of trouble. It should be fine.”

I’m Thunderstruck will have last year’s runner-up Nonconformist (Rebel Raider) to his right with short-priced favourite Anamoe (Street Boss) to start from barrier three. Alligator Blood (All Too Hard) and Zaaki (NZ) (Leroidesanimaux) drew barriers five and seven respectively.

The latter two are part of the contingent progressing from the Underwood Stakes at Sandown on September 25, which also includes Mo’Unga (NZ) (Savabeel) (six) and Mr Brightside (NZ) (Bullbars) (four).

I’m Thunderstruck finished fourth in that 1800m Group One after settling towards the rear before working home in the fastest last 600m of the race – 33.63 seconds – to finish 2-3/4 lengths from winner Alligator Blood.

“He was a long way off them off a very slow tempo and it was mathematically impossible to pick them up last start against those very good horses,” Kent said.

“But he’s cleaned right up in the coat now and he’ll be somewhere near his top.

“We want to see him get the 2000 and be given every chance.”

I’m Thunderstruck will again be ridden by Mark Zahra at what will be the star jockey’s first meeting back in Australia since partnering Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed) in France last weekend.

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