Godolphin looking for Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow to prove class at Meydan
LONDON: Godolphin are hopeful Thunder Snow can show his class when he returns to the track at Meydan for Super Saturday.
The five-year-old memorably won the Dubai World Cup a year ago and goes in the Group 1 Al-Maktoum Challenge Round Three race tomorrow at the famous UAE track on a stellar night of racing.
Thunder Snow has not raced since finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, also over a mile and a quarter on dirt, at Churchill Downs, US, at the start of November. But it is hoped that tomorrow’s run will prove to be a good springboard for his bid to become the first horse to win back-to-back World Cups.
“We gave Thunder Snow a break after his run at the Breeders’ Cup because he had a hard season in 2018 — he ran four times in Dubai and then in the UK before having two starts in the US,” trainer Saeed bin Suroor said.
“It was a long year for him, from January until November, and he deserved a rest afterwards.
“He is back now and did his final piece of work last Sunday, which went well. We also took him to Meydan last week, to work on the dirt there, and he looks to be in good condition at the moment.
“His main aim for the first part of the season is the Dubai World Cup again and this is a stepping stone toward that target. He will need this run and I expect him to improve for the race.”
Christophe Soumillon is overjoyed having ridden Thunder Snow to World Cup glory last year. (AFP)
Thunder Snow, ridden by Christophe Soumillon, will be hoping to go one place better in the 10-runner 10-furlong contest on dirt 12 months ago, when he finished a clear second to North America.
The five-year-old is the focus of what will be a very busy night for Dubai-based Godolphin with Blair House going in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta run over one mile and one furlong.
“He won this race last year and ran well to finish second to Benbatl at G1 level in Australia in October,” the six-year-old’s trainer Charlie Appleby said.
“We were happy with his performance in the Al-Rashidiya and he has definitely come on for that run.
“He needs a lot of luck of running, which he got in this race last year.
“But he is in good order and should be bang there if the gaps appear again.”