Helmet's Thunder Snow Romps in Dubai World Cup While No Joy for Aussies in Al Quoz Sprint
Mark Smith - Sunday April 1

Godolphin's Thunder Snow, a son of Darley Stud's triple Group 1 winner Helmet, led from pillar to post to win the 23rd edition of the $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup to credit trainer Saeed Bin Suroor with his eighth World Cup winner, while it was a first for his jockey Christophe Soumillon.

Helmet is a son of Exceed And Excel who was also in the thick of things on World Cup night when his 8yo son Heavy Metal captured the Group II Godolphin Mile.

The 3-pronged Aussie assault on the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint did not go as planned with Peter Gelagotis-trained Illustrious Lad doing the best to finish fifth under Anthony Darmanin, while Lindsay Park's Faatinah clocked in eighth and the Bjorn Baker-trained Music Magnate in eleventh.

But the day belonged to Thunder Snow who galloped on resolutely to defeat Bob Baffert's 5/4 favourite West Coast (USA) (Flatter) by five and three-quarter lengths with Mubtaahij (Ire) (Dubawi) a neck back in third.

The son of Helmet was one of four winners carrying the colours of Godolphin on the world's richest raceday.

Winning trainer Saeed Bin Suroor was thrilled by his historic eighth win in the race

"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, he told Sporting Life.

"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."

For Christophe Soumillon it was another box ticked in an outstanding career.

"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," he said.

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

"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's a champion, he's proved it in Europe and now here. He's an amazing horse."

Winner of the Group 1 Criterium International at two and the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat, Thunder Snow is out of the Dubai Destination mare Eastern Joy a half-sister to Group 1 Prix de Diane winner West Wind (Machiavellian).

All five of Eastern Joy's foals to reach the racetrack are stakes-winner.

They include Ihtimal (Shamardal), who won the Group III UAE Oaks and the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas and was third in the Group 1 English 1000 Guineas.