Thunder Snow produces stunning upset to win Dubai World Cup for Godolphin

Sport360 staff 21:25 31/03/2018
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Thunder Snow

Thunder Snow streaked to a wide-margin victory under Christophe Soumillon in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan race course last night

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained four-year-old completd a remarkable night for the Godolphin team, who enjoyed four winners on the highly lucrative World Cup card, all ridden by different jockeys, and all sporting the supposed second colours.

After wins for James Doyle on Jungle Cat, Oisin Murphy on Benbatl and William Buick on Hawkbill, Soumillon got his mount across from stall 10 to make the running and after setting what looked a very modest gallop, unleashed his charge on the turn into the straight.

Thunder Snow quickly put distance between himself and Bob Baffert’s favourite West Coast.

The American challenger had looked poised to attack rounding the home turn, but it was soon obvious Thunder Snow had far more in the locker and he powered clear to score readily.

West Coast just managed to hold on to the runner-up spot from stablemate Mubtaahij.

Bin Suroor was saddling his eighth World Cup winner.

Bin Suroor was understandably thrilled with Thunder Snow’s victory in a course-record time.

He said: “The horse is really brilliant. He’s a Group One winner in the past as a two-year-old and last year and now he’s come back to win a Group One again – the World Cup.

“I think the jockey did a brilliant job. Nobody has done that before.

“He got away from stall 10 and got him handy. He took off and never looked like coming back.”

Soumillon said: “I don’t know if it was Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter, but there was a little girl before the race who said to me ‘it’s a small track, so if you go in front you’re going to win it!’

“After that Saeed told me to try to get the best start possible and stay close to the pace. I never thought I would be able to make the running with that draw, but he jumped quite well and on the inside I saw nobody was trying to challenge me.

“West Coast let me go and when I arrived in the first corner my horse just pricked his ears and had a good blow.

Thunder Snow leads the field in the Dubai World Cup. (Photo by Mathea Kelley/Dubai Racing Club.)

Thunder Snow leads the field in the Dubai World Cup. (Photo by Mathea Kelley/Dubai Racing Club.)

“In the back straight I was really cantering. He’s a funny horse as he’s really talented, but sometimes when it’s in his head he doesn’t want to do something he doesn’t go.

“When he wants to go, he’s just amazing.”

He added: “I’m in heaven now, we will have a big party tonight!

“Winning this is like a dream come true. When I was a kid in jockey school I was looking and screaming when Cigar won.

“I was hoping one day I would have that chance.”

West Coast’s rider, Javier Castellano, made no excuses for the vanquished favourite.

He said: “I was in a perfect spot and I didn’t have any complaints at all.

“Turning for home I thought I might be able to get to the winner, but he just moved away and was very impressive.”

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