IN a portent to future Melbourne Spring Carnivals, some of the best middle distance horses in the land were in Sydney. On offer, the A$7.5 million Golden Eagle over 1,500 metres with $4 million to the winner, down to $100,000 for eighth.

“You’ve just got to chase these races,” said the Melbourne-based Mick Price of the huge money on offer.

As a winner of the Group 1 Toorak Handicap, the Price-trained I’m Thunderstruck would traditionally progress to the 1,600-metre Cantala Stakes, also held Saturday. Instead the Golden Eagle has effectively neutered the $2 million Group 1 that’s worth $1.2 million to the winner, skewering the quality of the field and keeping some of the country’s best jockeys at Rosehill.

A short-priced favourite, I’m Thunderstruck slammed the hammer like Thor. Mid-field on the bend, Hugh Bowman had to plot his way between horses before the son of the 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking could see daylight.

With purpose, he swept up the six in front of him to defeat the Real Impact gelding Count De Rupee by a head, with the Vancouver mare Vangelic in third.

Ken Condon’s former charge Laws Of Indices finished fifth but beaten just two lengths.

“Just amazing,” said jockey Hugh Bowman. “I’ve been riding a long time and I’ve ridden some amazing horses as we all know and the feeling that I got today is what it’s all about.

“Honestly, I was a passenger. He just took me to the line and I just made a point of not getting in his way and he delivered in spades.”