Night Of Thunder's Thundering Nights Wins The Pretty Polly

Thundering Nights |


Narrowly denied in the GII New York S. earlier this month, Shapoor Mistry's Thundering Nights (Ire) (Night of Thunder {Ire}) was able to come out on top of another tight finish on Sunday when garnering The Curragh's G1 Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly S. Settled behind the leading trio early by Shane Crosse, the 16-5 shot seized the advantage approaching the final furlong and held off the strong challenge of TDN Rising Star Santa Barbara (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) to score by a neck, with 2 1/2 lengths back to the 11-4 favourite Cayenne Pepper (Ire) (Australia {GB}) in third. “She's a great mare, she's very tough and every time you ask her a question she rises to the occasion,” trainer Joseph O'Brien said. “She always has a bit of a look around when she goes to the front and she did that again today, but when the other one came to her she really fought back.”

First coming to prominence when beating the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac winner Albigna (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) and Epona Plays (Ire) (Australia {GB}) in the nine-furlong G3 Snow Fairy S. here in August, Thundering Nights was a well-beaten third to Cayenne Pepper in the course-and-distance G2 Blandford S. in September before finishing seventh in the G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares S. at Ascot the following month. Back with a half-length second to Broome (Ire) (Australia {GB}) in the G3 Alleged S. again over this track and trip Apr. 17, the bay came up short by a nose to Mean Mary (Scat Daddy) in the New York June 4 and upped her game again to strike for the older fillies and mares here.

This was straightforward for Thundering Nights, who enjoyed a clear trip all the way and who had time to wait on Santa Barbara inside the closing stages before giving extra. “Broome just nabbed her here on the line, but she had an opportunity to fight back today and she did that,” Joseph O'Brien said. “In America, she would have won in another stride, the tight track caught her out a little bit as it was her first time around the bends over there. She had to spend a week after the race over there, so she's only been back a couple of weeks. She trained there for a week, then shipped straight back and came straight here. She has a great constitution. She has options back in America, like the [Aug. 9 GI] Beverly D., and she also has the likes of the [G1] Nassau [at Goodwood July 29] and [the G1] Matron [at Leopardstown Sept. 11]. She's a group 1 winner now, so she's a very exciting broodmare prospect no matter what happens.”

Aidan O'Brien believes that Santa Barbara finally had the chance to show what she is made of here with ideal trip and ground. “I'm delighted she ran well, I was very happy with her,” he said. “After Epsom, we were hoping it was the trip and the ground and it looks like she wants a mile or a mile-and-a-quarter as she's not short of pace. She did everything right, Joseph's filly was very unlucky in America the last day and she's tough. When she got to her, she didn't surrender and his horses are running well. We were thinking of going to the Nassau with Joan of Arc and maybe to split them up this filly could have the option of going to the [G1] Belmont Oaks in a couple of weeks' time. She's a big powerful filly and hopefully she'll be there for next year as well.”

Raised at Manjri Farm in India, Thundering Nights is the first foal out of the multiple-winning middle-distance performer Cape Castle (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}), who was bought by Stroud Coleman Bloodstock for 32,000gns carrying the winner at the 2017 Tattersalls February Sale. She is a granddaughter of the G3 Nell Gwyn S. winner and G1 Prix Vermeille runner-up Cloud Castle (GB) (In the Wings {GB}), whose trio of black-type winners are headed by the G3 Winter Hill S. winner Queen's Best (GB) (King's Best). She in turn produced the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf heroine Queen's Trust (GB) (Dansili {GB}), while Cloud Castle is also the second dam of this year's GI Turf Classic S., GI Manhattan S. and GI Hollywood Derby hero Domestic Spending (GB) (Kingman {GB}), the G3 Fred Darling S. winner and G1 Prix Marcel Boussac third Dabyah (Ire) (Sepoy {Aus}) and the G2 Badener Meile winner Royal Solitaire (Ire) (Shamardal). Cloud Castle is kin to the four-times group 1-winning dual Coronation Cup hero Warrsan (Ire) (Caerleon) from the dynasty of the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and G1 Prix de Diane heroine Avenir Certain (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}). Cape Castle's 2-year-old filly is by the stud's resident Phoenix Tower.

Sunday, Curragh, Ireland
ALWASMIYAH PRETTY POLLY S.-G1, €250,000, Curragh, 6-27, 3yo/up, f/m, 10fT, 2:08.72, g/f.
1–THUNDERING NIGHTS (IRE), 138, f, 4, by Night of Thunder (Ire)
     1st Dam: Cape Castle (Ire), by Cape Cross (Ire)
     2nd Dam: Kaabari, by Seeking the Gold
     3rd Dam: Cloud Castle (GB), by In the Wings (GB)
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. (€17,000 RNA Wlg '17 GOFNOV; €19,000 RNA Ylg '18 TIRSEP). O-Shapoor Mistry; B-Manjri Farm (IRE); T-Joseph O'Brien; J-Shane Crosse. €150,000. Lifetime Record: GSP-US, 11-4-3-1, $412,193. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Santa Barbara (Ire), 126, f, 3, Camelot (GB)–Senta's Dream (GB), by Danehill. O-Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Westerberg; B-Whisperview Trading Ltd (IRE); T-Aidan O'Brien. €50,000.
3–Cayenne Pepper (Ire), 138, f, 4, Australia (GB)–Muwakaba, by Elusive Quality. (195,000gns Wlg '17 TATFOA). O-Mrs S Kelly; B-G H S Bloodstock & J C Bloodstock (IRE); T-Jessica Harrington. €25,000.
Margins: NK, 2HF, 3/4. Odds: 3.20, 3.00, 2.75.
Also Ran: Insinuendo (Ire), Epona Plays (Ire), Shale (Ire), Silence Please (Ire), Oodnadatta (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free catalogue-style pedigree.

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