NIGHT Of Thunder made a flying start to his stallion career, with the days of his £15,000 fee soon to become a distant memory.
This time last year there was one notable omission from his record, but that too has been consigned to history because he made the breakthrough at Group 1 level in 2021.
In fact, he did it twice. Kukeracha landed the Group 1 Queensland Derby over 12 furlongs at Eagle Farm in Australia one month before Thundering Nights beat Santa Barbara to take the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes over a quarter mile less at the Curragh.
Indeed, he came close to getting his first that February because Cherry Tortoni, previously a 10-furlong Group 2-scorer, was a half-length runner-up in the Group 1 Australian Guineas over a mile at Flemington.
Like his great sire, Night Of Thunder gets his best winners over a variety of distances, and in all age groups. His sprinters, for example, include the exciting French filly Suesa, and her three pattern wins last year featured the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood.
Night Of Thunder was always an intriguing prospect because, like some other early high-profile progeny by Dubawi, he has a light distaff side to his pedigree; aside from an Indian classic winner, he is the only stakes winner in its first three generations.
However, the combination of Dubawi (Dubai Millennium) with stakes-placed Forest Storm (Galileo) clicked in a way that reflected the prior generations’ level of success, and so the classic-winning miler was the best racehorse for this branch since his popular fourth dam, Forest Flower (Green Forest).
She won the Queen Mary, Cherry Hinton and Mill Reef Stakes at two and was runner-up in the Phoenix Stakes, and despite concerns some had about her short stature, she trained on to become an Irish 1000 Guineas heroine.
Forest Flower had also been a clear-cut first past the post in the Cheveley Park Stakes, but was later disqualified and placed last in a decision that Timeform called “unjust”. She was 1986’s juvenile filly champion.
Forest Flower’s half-sister Scoop The Gold (Forty Niner) is the stakes-winning dam of the Breeders’ Cup-placed, triple USA Grade 1 winner High Yield (Storm Cat), a blacktype sire who died young, while dual English Group 3-winner Leap Lively (Nijinsky) is the next dam.
Night Of Thunder, a juvenile stakes winner who won a vintage edition of the Group 1 2000 Guineas before going on to add the Group 1 Lockinge, has proved his worth at stud.
His string of six-figure yearlings made up to 375,000gns in 2021, while foals fetched prices such as 230,000gns and €240,000. He also had a batch of six-figure breeze-up horses last season, headed by a £500,000 Arqana filly.
NIGHT OF THUNDER (IRE), Chesnut 2011. Won four races, £872,363, from 6 furlongs to 1 mile, 2 to 4 years including, Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, Newbury, Gr.1, Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes, Newmarket, Gr.1, Scott Dobson Memorial Doncaster Stakes, Doncaster, L, also placed second in Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Ascot, Gr.1, St James’s Palace Stakes, Ascot, Gr.1, AON Greenham Stakes, Newbury, Gr.3, and third in Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, Longchamp, Gr.1.
Retired to Stud in 2016, and sire of the winners of 362 races, and £7,925,489, including KUKERACHA (NZ), THUNDERING NIGHTS (IRE), SOPRAN BASILEA (IRE), SUESA (IRE), AUYANTEPUI (GB), CHERRY TORTONI (AUS), THUNDEROUS (IRE), NIGHT COLOURS (IRE), POCKET SQUARE (GB), THUNDER KISS (IRE), A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT (AUS), MOLATHAM (GB), NO LIMIT CREDIT (GER), UNDER THE STARS (IRE), GARDEN PARADISE (IRE), HELA (AUS), HIGHFIELD PRINCESS (FR), KEEP BUSY (IRE), NIGHT TORNADO (GB), RUMBLES OF THUNDER (IRE), DUBAI LOVE (GB), LADY PENELOPE (IRE), RIVER NIGHT (AUS), STORMY GIRL (IRE), CACCIANTE (IRE), BREDENBURY (IRE), Qaader (IRE), Love Sensation (AUS), Thunder Beauty (IRE), Giselles Thunder (IRE), Niram (IRE), Silent Night (SWE), Thunderspeed (FR), Zamaani (IRE), Magical Journey (IRE) and Sun Power (FR)
Stands at: Kildangan Stud, Monasterevin, Co Kildare, W34 HR98, Ireland.
Contact: Eamon Moloney (nominations manager), Anthony O’Donnell, Tom Fogarty
Telephone: +353 (0)45 527600