- Murphy confident of top performance from Thunder Rock
- Carlisle victory sets up Thunder Rock for Cheltenham
- December Gold Cup favourite running into form
Trainer Olly Murphy is showing confidence in Thunder Rock’s prospects at the upcoming Virgin Bet December Gold Cup, deeming the seven-year-old to possess a highly appealing profile and being well-placed in terms of weight for the £130,000 race. Thunder Rock’s odds have subsequently tightened, making him a 5/1 favourite with Betway.
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Thunder Rock hitting form
Murphy points to Thunder Rock’s form, citing a commendable second-place finish behind subsequent Coral Gold Cup winner Datsalrightgino and a triumphant seasonal reappearance at Carlisle, where he defeated Mahler Mission. The trainer highlights that the horse has been meticulously prepared for the December Gold Cup since his last victory.
Emphasising Thunder Rock’s proficiency at the Carlisle track, Murphy underscores the significance of jockey Sean Bowen’s successful partnership with the horse. The trainer acknowledges the horse’s maiden run in a big handicap and emphasises the importance of how Thunder Rock will handle such an experience.
Reflecting on Thunder Rock’s previous achievements, including a productive novice chase campaign last season with wins and Graded level performances, Murphy is optimistic that the horse has a future in Graded chases. The December Gold Cup, according to Murphy, will serve as a crucial test to gauge Thunder Rock’s potential as a successful chaser.
There are 23 horses, including contenders like Il Ridoto and So Scottish, are vying for the December Gold Cup, a race that was cancelled in the previous season due to adverse track conditions at Cheltenham.
December Gold Cup Betting
The bookies are also aware of the support that Thunder Rock has garnered from punters, attributing it to the validation of the horse’s recent form. Virtually all of the bookies have Thunder Rock as favourite or joint ante-post favourite.
At the time of writing Unibet have Thunder Rok and II Rodoto priced at 4/1 with So Scottish 7/1 and In Excelsis Deo at 8/1.
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