Zoffany’s THUNDER MOON is set to join the Al Shaqab Stallions roster in France at Haras de Bouquetot for the 2023 season.
Trained by Joseph O’Brien, THUNDER MOON has impressed right from his 2-year-old winning debut at the Curragh, earning a TDN Rising Star with a commanding 3 ¼ lengths victory. Aimed straight at the Gr.1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes on his second start, the juvenile colt showed an extraordinary turn-of-foot to overcome traffic while rocketing past a class field composed of seven subsequent Gr.1 horses, including World Champion St Mark’s Basilica and Classic winner Mac Swinney.
The Racing Post collaborators praised THUNDER MOON’s National Stakes performance as “hugely exciting”, “breathtaking”, “a lightning-sharp change of gear”, and “a remarkable performance”. Timeform also commented “there was no doubt Thunder Moon was being asked a big question after just one run – but the way he quickened up suggests he is a colt of the highest order.”
THUNDER MOON’s 2-year-old season ended with another performance at the highest level when placed in the Gr.1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, beaten only a length and leaving subsequent Classic winner Poetic Flare in his wake.
As a 3-year-old, THUNDER MOON made another display of his natural speed when a runner-up by a nose over the straight 7f in the Gr.1 Haras d’Etreham Prix Jean Prat at Deauville.
His trainer Joseph O’Brien commented:
“THUNDER MOON was defined by his natural class & strong turn-of-foot. His performance in the Gr.1 National Stakes really showcased this and his brilliance as a 2-year-old beating a field packed with Group one winners and future group performers. He also came within a whisker of winning the Prix Jean Prat the following year. We are really looking forward to training his progeny in the years to come.”
A son of Zoffany, the sire of 30 Group winners and 14 Group 1 horses including French Gr.1 winners Albigna (Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac) and Mother Earth (Prix Rotschild ), THUNDER MOON hails from the direct family of Classic Gr.1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner and matriarch Trusted Partner, herself the dam and granddam of 5 individual Group 1 winners.
Haras de Bouquetot’s Stud Manager Benoit Jeffroy declared:
“We’re delighted to welcome THUNDER MOON at Haras de Bouquetot for 2023. He is a precocious horse of 1m60 (15.3 hh) who has shown plenty of speed winning the National Stakes like Dubawi, Danehill Dancer and Teofilo did before him. We were looking for a Gr.1 winner at 2 excelling over 7f, not dissimilar to the profiles of recent French successes Wootton Bassett & Siyouni.”
THUNDER MOON will be standing at a fee of €6,000 Live Foal in 2023. He will be available for viewing at Haras de Bouquetot during the Arqana December Sales.