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Thompson Hopes Carnival Experience Helps Fury Flourish

By Ray Hickson

Trainer Glen Thompson raised some eyebrows when he threw lightly raced gelding Avion Fury in the deep end during the autumn carnival but his two runs in Group company signalled a future as a promising stayer.

The four-year-old was beaten just 3.6 lengths by Toffee Tongue in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m), at $81, and 5.9 lengths by Shared Ambition in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood (2000m), at $101, in his two starts since his win at $41 at Canterbury in February.

Avion Fury returns to the scene of that impressive victory in the TAB Handicap (1900m), a benchmark 72 race, and Thompson is hoping the experience against quality stayers rubs off on the horse.

“I think stepping up to the staying trip definitely helped him and he is showing what his potential could be,’’ Thompson said.

“Obviously he was out of his depth at his last couple of runs but it’s that time of year and the owner was keen to give him his chance.

“He ran as well as he could against those horses, back to the right grade hopefully he can get another win.”

Avion Fury runs fifth at Rosehill on April 3

The Punter’s Intelligence sectional data out of the Neville Sellwood underline how well Avion Fury performed despite being seemingly outclassed. He clocked the third fastest last 600m of the meeting (33.59) as he ran into fifth place.

He’ll carry the same weight (55kg) on Wednesday as he did in his two Group 3 attempts, the latter Thompson describing as a career best effort.

“He’s getting towards the end of his prep, that’s always a little concern but he’s given no indication between runs that he has trained off so hopefully he can run as well as he did last time in an easier race,’’ Thompson said.

“The last couple we’ve tried to ride him a bit closer but it hasn’t worked out. He has a bad habit of stepping out of the barrier half a length slow so it makes it harder on himself.

“If he can jump and be a few pairs closer it’d be ideal.”

Avion Fury, $3.10 favourite with TAB on Tuesday, has only been in Thompson’s care for this preparation and it’s only been at his past three starts that he’s been tried over further than 1400m.

The Warwick Farm trainer is confident with a bit more time the gelding can earn his way back to stakes company with more experience under his belt.

“In his trackwork he always worked like a really good horse,’’ he said.

“It didn’t surprise me to see him win like he did because that’s how he works. I think he is up to that grade but I think it’ll be better to work through our grades to get to them instead of jumping over five grades to get there.

“I think he has the ability to end up in those races down the track.”

Check out the fields, form and results for Wednesday's meeting at Canterbury

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