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Indian Thunder wins Lightning Ridge Cup


Indian Thunder leads in the final stages of the 1200 metre Lightning Ridge Cup on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Janian McMillan of Sarsfield Racing Photography

Situated in far northwest New South Wales within 70 kilometres of the Queensland border, the famous opal mining town Lightning Ridge attracted a very big crowd on Easter Saturday to the annual race meeting.

Although the $74,000 prizemoney is tempting, a major enticement for owners and trainers to start their horses at the isolated venue are the trophies, opal pendants for the support races and a magnificent opal bracelet for the cup winner, independently valued at $19,500 and created by Jo Lindsay from Lost Sea Opals.

The much sought after opal bracelet now has a home with connections of the Kevin Dixon, Tamworth trained Indian Thunder, winner of the 1200 metres Lightning Ridge Cup.

One of the best backed runners at the meeting, the 8-year-old gelding Indian Thunder started at $7 and with apprentice Kelsey Lenton in the saddle led the eleven-horse field to the home turn.

Indian Thunder had over two lengths to spare at the finish from The Defiant One (Shayleigh Ingelse, $12) which ran on well along the inside rail while the 2022 Cup winner Fearless Mila (Ronald Simpson, $5) finished third.

Making a welcome return to the winners list after a break from racing was the talented apprentice Ronald Simpson on the Dar Lunn, Dubbo trained Gretzky in the 1200m Lost Sea Opals Benchmark 45 Handicap.

Reaching the lead over the closing stages, Gretzky ($2.80 favourite) won by a neck from the fast-finishing Quick Spin (Will Stanley, $12) with Tycoon Jim (Chelsea Ings, $6) in third place. […]

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