Top trainer Eddie McGuire has modestly downplayed his influence in rejuvenating Thunder Express who will fly the Geraldton flag in the Skyracing TV Provincial Championship Final (1400m) at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Thunder Express arrived from Perth as a 14 start maiden but has flourished under McGuire’s tutelage and earned Geraldton Horse of the Years honours after five wins and six seconds from his 13 appearances this season.
“I can’t take any of the credit because it’s the horse that has done it all,” said McGuire.
“It’s easy to look good when you train a good horse.
“I think his improvement is through natural maturity.
“I actually think there is more upside to him.”
Thunder Express, who has been in work since last October, shows no signs of training off after a luckless third to Cranky Dancer on April 17.
“He was stopped in his tracks and with 61.5kg it’s pretty hard to pick yourself up and gather momentum again.
“He has been up a long time but he loves his racing and I think he deserves to have another opportunity.
“Win, lose or draw he will be going for a spell after this run but he definitely has another win in him.”
McGuire was philosophical when Thunder Express drew wide in gate 13 for jockey Pat Carbery.
“He is not a quick beginner and at least he can go back and stay out of trouble,” McGuire said.
“I think the long Belmont straight will suit him and I’m confident he is going to be hard to beat.”
McGuire rates Angel Wing and Anywhere Express as the two biggest threats to his charge.
Angel Wing, prepared at Bunbury by Simon Foster, is chasing three wins in a line.
Helen Harding’s Anywhere Express has won two of her three races in Kalgoorlie this season.