Brilliant Thunder Snow captures 2018 Dubai World Cup in style


Thunder Snow produced his best-ever performance when the very impressive winner of the US$10-million G1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline over 10 furlongs on dirt.

He gave Godolphin a fourth victory on 2018 Dubai World Cup Night at Meydan, UAE, on Saturday, 31 March and a ninth success in the Dubai World Cup.

The four-year-old Helmet colt, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, broke from stall 10, right on the outside of the international field, but his regular jockey Christophe Soumillon managed to break smartly and make ground to take the lead within a furlong and then go across to the inside rail.

Thunder Snow, happy with the advantage, raced willingly and, when asked to stretch away in the straight, did just that to win by a thrilling five and three quarter lengths from the main American challenger West Coast in a new track record time of 2m 1.38s.

Saeed bin Suroor, celebrating his eighth Dubai World Cup winner, commented: “Thunder Snow is a brilliant horse.

“He is a G1 winner twice in the past in France and now he has come back to win the Dubai World Cup. It is a very big result.

“I think Christophe Soumillon did a great job with Thunder Snow – he took him from stall 10 and kept him somewhere close and handy. He put the horse in a good position and won well - it was brilliant from the jockey.

“Thunder Snow won really well and Christophe knows him very well.

“I know people were worried about being drawn in stall 10, but I was always relaxed about this because I know that Thunder Snow can take a nice position as he has a good turn of foot.

“I told Christophe to forget the draw and be close after he jumped – the closer he was to the pace, the better his chance of winning.

“Christophe is a world champion and he rode Thunder Snow as the best horse in the race.

“This my eighth victory in the Dubai World Cup and I hope that we can win it again in the future.”

“We have the best owner in Sheikh Mohammed. He is the best leader and gives us the best horses. It is a brilliant win and I will give the trophy to my mother and brothers and family.”

Christophe Soumillon remarked: “I thought I was dreaming! When I came into the straight, I couldn’t feel anyone following me and thought that I better make Thunder Snow concentrate because I know that he can do something sometimes with the big screen and the marks on the track.

“When I looked up at the screen, I saw the white cap and the blue colours going quite easy in the front and thought that I had better go until the line.

“It’s magic – I work hard every day to make sure that something crazy like this might happen.

“It was a bit difficult this morning to think that we could win the Dubai World Cup, but we tried very hard and Saeed gave me a lot of confidence before the race.

“I wasn’t ready to ride Thunder Snow so positively because I thought there would have been more speed on the inside but, when my horse jump so well, I knew that I would have to make it.

“I saw nobody try to challenge me on the inside. West Coast let me go and, when I arrived at the first corner, my horse pulled his ears in front and had a good blow.

“The whole way down the back straight, I was really cantering. Thunder Snow is a very talented horse but sometimes, when he doesn’t want to do something, he doesn’t. He was amazing tonight.

“It wasn’t that difficult and Saeed has done a great job. The horse was in top form today. It makes a jockey’s life much easier when you ride the good horses.

“He is a champion. He has already proven it as a two-year-old in Europe and as a three-year-old out in Dubai.

“Unfortunately, he did something funny when he ran in Kentucky but, when he is like he was today, he is an amazing horse.

“Winning this race is like a dream come true. When I was a young kid in the jockey academy, I was looking at these races and screaming and crying when Cigar won.

“I saw so many great jockeys, like Jerry Bailey and Frankie Dettori, winning the Dubai World Cup. I was just hoping that one day I would have that chance and today it has happened. It’s just amazing.”

The Dubai World Cup was a third G1 triumph for Thunder Snow, who has proved top class on both turf and dirt.

He won the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, France, as a two-year-old and the G1 Prix Jean Prat last year at Chantilly, both on turf, after taking the G2 UAE Derby on dirt at Meydan.