Jack Davison will train Thunderbear “like a good horse” having seen him produce a career best in the Lacken Stakes at Naas.
Before finishing just over a length fourth with his sights raised on Sunday, the son of Kodi Bear had been campaigning in handicap company and was sent off an unfancied 50-1 for the Group Three contest despite scoring with real ease when last sighted on a raiding mission to Nottingham.
However, he outran his odds in the manner of a rapidly improving sprinter and his performance was not missed by the Irish handicapper, who has subsequently raised the three-year-old 9lb to a mark of 107.
Davison has previously enjoyed big sprint success with Mooneista, who is now trained by Joseph O’Brien, and is excited to see how far up the ladder Thunderbear can climb having finished so close to the well-regarded The Antarctic at Naas.
“It was a super run and he’s a progressive horse who is rated 107 now,” said the trainer.
“I’m really happy with him and he’s going to be a good horse for me now this year.
“He’s one of the best three-year-olds in the country over that distance now and I think there is more improvement there. He is a nice one to have in the stable this year and I’ll train him like a good horse. We’ll pick his battles a little bit and hopefully that will pay off.
“We’ve got plenty of options over six and seven furlongs, I just have to have a good think about where we go next.
“He has that much pace he could be effective over a stiff five and he’s ground versatile, so we have plenty of options and we’re looking forward to seeing where he ends up.”
Having seen his official rating sky rocket on the back of his Naas performance, handicaps are now off the table and with the Jersey Stakes the only realistic option available at Royal Ascot, Davison is leaning towards targeting the Irish sprinting programme for the time being.
He continued: “His mark has gone now for any of the handicaps, but I always knew he was a Group horse in the making.
“Obviously, being a gelding, he can’t run in the Commonwealth Cup. The Jersey Stakes is a possibility, but I would say it is likely we will stay domestic for the next couple of months.”