By Dubai Racing Club Press Release (Peter Ward, DWC Notes Team)
Godolphin’s Thunder Snow has his chance to rewrite the record books on Saturday in the US $10milllion Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline.
If successful, he would be the eighth winner of the race for Saeed bin Suroor, the most successful trainer in the history of the showpiece race, as well as a seventh to carry the blue of Godolphin. The colt would also become the first UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group winner to follow up in the Dubai World Cup.
Having already won the 2017 UAE 2000 Guineas, he needed every one of the 1900m in the UAE Derby when leading in the final strides to deny Japan’s Epicharis.
A Group 1 winner as a juvenile, in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, he was also successful at the highest level, again in France, when landing the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly last summer.
Christophe Soumillon was in the saddle for all those big race victories, having partnered him for the first time in the Criterium International, and was also aboard when they were second in the 1600m Al Maktoum Challenge R1, the feature on the first night of the 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival.
They then won the 1900m second round of the challenge but the Belgian jockey was suspended on Super Saturday when, under Oisin Murphy, he was runner-up to North America.
Soumillon will be back in the saddle on Saturday and said: “I was, obviously, disappointed to miss Super Saturday but am really looking forward to getting back on him.
“He handles the dirt well enough but, perhaps, does not quicken on it as well as he does on turf. There looks sure to be a good gallop again on Saturday and we will be hoping for a good draw.”
The 4-year-old son of Helmet galloped at Al Quoz on Sunday morning, his final piece of serious work before the big race.
“We are very much looking forward to the Dubai World Cup on Saturday and could not be happier with Thunder Snow, who worked very well on Sunday,” Bin Suroor said.
“He is very versatile as we know having won both the UAE 2000 Guineas and UAE Derby last year, as well as Al Maktoum Challenge R2 this year, on the Meydan dirt.
“He is also a dual Group 1 winner, on turf in France and, hopefully, can enjoy another good campaign in Europe after Saturday. He was second on Super Saturday, which was a very good effort over the World Cup course and distance.
“Obviously the Dubai World Cup is a very strong race with American runners like West Coast and Forever Unbridled in the field but our horse is in great shape. Christophe gets on particularly well with him and we are very much looking forward to Saturday and, hopefully, a big performance from him.”