GODOLPHIN’s Thunder Snow, saddled by Saeed Bin Surour and ridden by Christophe Soumillon, stunned pre-race favourite West Coast to win the Gr1 Dubai World Cup in Meydan Saturday.
The Dubai-headquartered stable, founded by Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, enjoyed one of their most memorable outings on the big night by winning three more Gr 1 races earlier – the Al Quoz Sprint, Dubai Turf and Dubai Sheema Classic.
Soumillon took the 8-1 shot into an early lead and he surged clear to claim the $US10m prize. Favourite West Coast, trained by Bob Baffert, just took the runner-up spot from stablemate Mubtaahij.
“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,'” said Soumillon.
“When I came in the straight I could feel nobody was following me,” Soumillon added. “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.”
Bin Suroor added: “I am very happy with the horse and jockey. 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.”