DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Godolphin’s Thunder Snow brought the trophy back home after three-year absence, Saturday’s Group 1, $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline at Meydan Racecourse.
Breaking from post 10 under rider Christophe Soumillon, Thunder Snow overcame his wide starting slot after Soumillon moved him aggressively out of the gate, winning the race for the lead over the Bob Baffert-trained pair of Mubtaahij and the heavily-favored West Coast. Thunder Snow set the pace through the first turn and down the backside along the rail before West Coast began applying pressure to his outside. Midway through the far turn, Thunder Snow dispatched his challenger and hit the top of the stretch in full stride. With nothing but air in front of him, Thunder Snow galloped home convincingly to take the 10-furlong event by 5 3/4 lengths in a track-record time of 2:01.38.
“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.”
The next four finishers were all American shippers. West Coast fought hard to keep control of second late, narrowly edging out stablemate Mubtaahij, while Pavel took fourth over Forever Unbridled, America’s defending Female Horse of the Year, in her final career start before entering the breeding shed. Japan’s Awardee took sixth over the field’s other female, Furia Cruzada, with Gunnevera, Talismanic, and North America completing the order of finish.
Thunder Snow’s victory broke the string of three straight American horses capturing one of the world’s richest races. The 4-year-old son of Helmet improved his stellar record to 18-7-5-2 with career earnings of $8,381,476 for breeder Darley Stallions, which produces horses for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin racing operation.
“I am very happy with the horse and jockey,” said bin Suroor, who won his eighth edition of the race, the most of any trainer. “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. 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. It was always on my mind to run him in the Dubai World Cup and he will have a break now, before running in Europe or America.”
Thunder Snow returned $22.40 to win, $13.20 to place, and $5.80 to show. West Coast brought back $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show, while Mubtaahij paid $6.80 to show.