August 9, 2020 - CURRAGH, Msw, EUR €16,500, 7.0F, .0000

Thunder Moon (Ire), c, 2, 2018 by Zoffany (Ire)

1st Dam: Small Sacrifice (Ire), by Sadler's Wells
2nd Dam: Trust In Luck (Ire), by Nashwan
3rd Dam: Trusted Partner, by Affirmed

Owner: Mrs A M O'Brien
Breeder: Whisperview Trading Ltd. (Ire)
Trainer: Joseph O'Brien

Sunday's seven-furlong Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at The Curragh looked as if it could be storing something exciting beforehand and so it proved as Anne Marie O'Brien's Thunder Moon (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) exploded onto the scene to earn TDN Rising Star status. Keen early tracking the leading trio, the 10-1 shot who had won a Dundalk barrier trial July 29 travelled with supreme ease once Declan McDonogh had got a grip on him. Given the command approaching the final furlong, the homebred split rivals and surged to the front soon after and was pushed out to put 3 3/4 lengths between him and the solid yardstick Colour Sergeant (Ire) (Kingman {GB}), with Ballydoyle's Baton Rouge (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) a length away in third.

"I think he's a smart horse. He went to a barrier trial a couple of weeks ago and did it well," Joseph O'Brien's representative Brendan Powell commented. "He's typical of a Zoffany, very relaxed and a lovely-natured horse. He's got a lot of filling out to do. Declan said he didn't even have to hit him. He was just niggling him and as soon as he really grabbed hold of him, gave him a squeeze, he picked up and found that turn of foot. That's a good asset to have. He'll make up into a lovely three-year-old. He stays the trip well and he's got a good future."

Thunder Moon's unraced Moyglare Stud-bred dam Small Sacrifice (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) was bought by Anne Marie O'Brien for just EUR18,000 at the 2007 Goffs November Mares Sale. She has subsequently produced the Listed Sir Henry Cecil S. winner Table Rock (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), who was later renamed Anticipation (Ire) in Hong Kong, SW-Eng, SP-HK, $643,136. Small Sacrifice is a half to the G3 Horris Hill S. third Aahaykid (Ire) (Intikhab) and is a full-sister to Out of Thanks (Ire) who produced the G3 Sirenia S. winner Love Lockdown (Ire) (Verglas {Ire}). Another of her half-siblings Tiny Petal (Ire) (Grand Lodge) threw the G1 Criterium International hero Vert de Grece (Ire) also by Verglas. The third dam is the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Trusted Partner (Affirmed), whose leading performer was the high-class GI Matriarch S. heroine Dress To Thrill (Ire) (Danehill) and her full-sister Polished Gem (Ire). She in turn is responsible for six black-type winners, including the G1 Prince of Wales's S.-winning sire Free Eagle (Ire) (High Chaparral {Ire}), last year's G1 Irish St Leger heroine Search For a Song (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and the G2 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares S. winner Sapphire (Ire) (Medicean {GB}). Small Sacrifice also has a yearling colt by Caravaggio.

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