Caloundra two-year-old Thunder Mania confirmed he is a genuine Group One JJ Atkins horse with a last-to-first Sunshine Coast win.
Carrying top weight of 59kg, Thunder Mania ($1.90) dawdled out of the barriers but finished too well to win the QTIS 2YO (1200m).
John Symons, who trains in partnership with Sheila Laxon, said it was all systems go for a tilt at the JJ Atkins on June 6.
“Our only regret is the J Atkins has been dropped back in distance from 1600m to 1400m. If ever there was a horse looking for 1600m it is him,” Symons said.
Thunder Mania won his first start at Doomben and then was sixth behind future dual Group One winner King’s Legacy in the Group Three Bruce McLachlan Stakes at Eagle Farm in December.
“He spelled well and has won a trial and a jump-out. But he will benefit a lot from today’s run,” he said.
Thunder Mania has breeding on his side being by champion sire Snitzel out of the Group Three-winning mare Imana.
Another Caloundra trainer Paul Duncan got a belated win with Warset ($6.50) in the Garrards Handicap (1800m).
“Warset was originally coming to me a year ago but they eventually sent him to Kris Lees at Newcastle,” Duncan said.
“He came up from Kris in great condition and his only other run for me was too short.”
A former Kiwi, Duncan is a noted trainer of stayers with his best the New Zealand Oaks winner Midnight Oil and Wellington Cup winner Oarsman.