Symons-Laxon 2YO on track for Atkins start

Mark Oberhardt
Promising two-year-old Thunder Mania is heading the right way for a start in the JJ Atkins

Co-trainers John Symons and Sheila Laxon are keeping a close eye on the ballot order as they plot the Group One JJ Atkins course for their smart two-year-old Thunder Mania.

Thunder Mania showed he was up to top company when he dispatched several other JJ Atkins hopefuls at the Sunshine Coast on Friday night.

Thunder Mania finished too strongly to win over 1400m in a major lead-up to the JJ Atkins at Eagle Farm on June 6.

It was his third win and lifted his prize money to $71,175 which should be enough to make the JJ Atkins field.

Symons and Laxon believe Thunder Mania can go straight into the race but if they feel others have leapfrogged him into the field they will look for another lead-in.

Symons said Thunder Mania had all the makings of a JJ Atkins horse.

"As I have regularly said our only regret is the JJ Atkins isn't 1600m and has dropped back 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.

Thunder Mania has breeding on his side being by champion sire Snitzel out of the Group Three-winning mare Imana.

Meanwhile, another Caloundra trainer in Darryl Hansen is looking for a suitable race to ensure his smart mare Pennino gets into the Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 6.

Pennino was backed from $14 into $4.80 before winning the Listed Chief De Beers Handicap (1000m) on Friday night.

"We have her in the Stradbroke and we'll look for another race for her to make certain she can get in," Hansen said.

"One thing she handles all tracks and rain on Stradbroke day would be no set back."

Pennino has now won almost $565,000 and her rating will be further boosted by the win which means she should make the Stradbroke field.