Thunder Snow Well Clear Of West Coast In Dubai World Cup

For the seventh time, Godolphin blue crossed the wire first in the $10 million Dubai World Cup. Thunder Snow, ridden by Christophe Soumillon, demanded the lead and never gave an inch, flying under the wire 5 3/4 lengths clear of American champion West Coast. The 4-year-old son of Helmet won the UAE Derby in 2017, and his appreciation for the Meydan surface was evident once again in the track’s biggest race. Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Thunder Snow covered 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.38 for his first Group 1 win on the dirt. West Coast had to hold off a very game Mubtaahij to hold the place, and Pavel nosed out Forever Unbridled for fourth.

“When I came in the straight I could feel nobody was following me,” Soumillon said. “I knew I had to concentrate because when he sees the big screen, he can do something sometimes. It’s magic. I work hard every day to make sure someday something crazy like this will happen.

“Saeed gave me lot of confidence before the race. I wasn’t ready to ride him that positively and I thought there would be more speed on the inside. He jumped so well that I thought I would have to make it. The first time I rode him I thought that when he leads that no-one can beat him, but it is difficult to make it.

“However, it wasn’t that difficult in the end. Saeed did a great job and the horse made everything – it makes the jockey’s life so easy when ride you great horses. I’m in heaven now, I’m not sure exactly what’s going on but we’re going to have a big party tonight.”

Surprisingly, the frontrunning North America missed the break in the World Cup, changing the complexion of the race from the get-go. West Coast was right there early on, but Thunder Snow, from his outermost post position, came rolling around his outside approaching the first turn. Javier Castellano took a slight hold of West Coast, easing him to second, and allowed Thunder Snow to take up the front-running position against the inside rail.

Entering the backstretch, Thunder Snow had a one-length lead over West Coast. Pavel was three-wide in a joint third with Mubtaahij and Talismanic, the latter between horses. Forever Unbridled came up the outside about five paths off the rail as the field approached the far turn, getting into position to make her run.

As Castellano got to work on West Coast, Soumillon had yet to move aboard Thunder Snow. West Coast got to the leader’s saddle towel, but no farther. Thunder Snow took off and put a quick three lengths on his rival, striding powerfully into the stretch with a big lead.

“I put the horse right next to him, to hook up with him, but (Thunder Snow) was best,” said Castellano. “(Christophe Soumillon) saw me, he asked the horse, and he took off.”

“Since we started from the inside gate, I wanted to take the lead but the outside horses went faster than he found his stride,” trainer Bob Baffert added. “He was in better form than last year and he ran his race, but this is the Dubai World Cup, it is not easy.”

Soumillon kept Thunder Snow to task down the lane, and the colt crossed the wire a dominant 5 3/4-length winner. West Coast was faltering a bit in second, but when challenged by stablemate Mubtaahij, the champion dug back in and held on to his runner-up position. Mubtaahij finished third, and Pavel won the battle for fourth over Forever Unbridled. Awardee finished sixth.

Bred in Ireland by his owner’s Darley operation, Thunder Snow is by Helmet (Exceed and Excel), the three-time Group 1 winner in Australia, and out of the Dubai Destination mare Eastern Joy. He won on debut at Leicester, and earned a pair of Group 2 placings before he closed out his juvenile season with a win in the G1 Criterium International on the turf. As a sophomore, he began his season in Dubai, winning a G2 and then the UAE Derby to earn his way into the Kentucky Derby. The colt inexplicably started bucking after he left the starting gate on the first Saturday in May, and had to be pulled up by the outriders in the first quarter mile.

Shipped back overseas, Thunder Snow was not worse than third in four starts, including a win in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat. In 2018, Thunder Snow competed in all three rounds of the Al Maktoum challenge, winning one and finishing second twice. His Dubai World Cup triumph improves his overall record to 7-5-2 from 18 starts, with earnings over $8 million.

“I am very happy with the horse and jockey,” said bin Suroor. “I told Christophe the horse has a good turn of foot and I told him to use it. The jockey is the best of the best. When I saw him he was confident in front and I thought surely the horse was going to win from then.”

What a performance! Thunder Snow causes an upset in the Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline and it’s a fourth winner on the night for Godolphin. #DubaiWorldCup #DWC18

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— Meydan Racing (@DRC_Meydan) March 31, 2018

The post Thunder Snow Well Clear Of West Coast In Dubai World Cup appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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