DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Thunder Snow stormed past race favorite West Coast to complete a stunning night for local stable Godolphin in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday.
Beneath Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon, Thunder Snow triumphed by more than five lengths.
It was the fourth Group One win of the night for Godolphin, owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
For Thunder Snow trainer Saeed Bin Suroor, it was his eighth win in the $10 million main race.
Thunder Snow started from the 10th and widest post and slipped ahead of West Coast early in the 2,000-meter race. He powered ahead by the halfway stage and finished with a terrific burst.
“West Coast let me go and when I arrived in the first corner my horse just pricked his ears and had a good blow,” Soumillon said. “In the back straight, I was really cantering.”
Thunder Snow earned his seventh win in 18 starts, with Group 1 wins at age two, three, and on Saturday at four.
“Saeed gave me lot of confidence before the race. I wasn’t ready to ride him that positively,” Soumillon said. “He 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, trained by three-time Dubai World Cup winner Bob Baffert, was second. Baffert’s other horse, Mubtaahij, was third.
“Since we started from the inside gate I wanted to take the lead, but the outside horses went faster than (West Coast) found his stride,” Baffert said.
Godolphin-owned and Charlie Appleby-trained Hawkbill won the Dubai Sheema Classic, a Group 1 race over 2,410 meters on turf with a purse of $6 million.
The Bin Suroor-trained Benbatl triumphed in the other $6 million race on the nine-race card, the Dubai Turf.
Jungle Cat, also trained by Appleby, was the fourth winner for Godolphin in the 1,200-meter Al Quoz Sprint.