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Thunder Snow Makes It Eight UAE Derby Titles For Godolphin

It was a battle to the finish for the UAE Derby Sponsored By The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group but in the end the Godolphin blue made it to the wire with a few inches to spare.

Local rising star Thunder Snow (IRE) got a short-head past the popular Japanese raider Ephicharis (JPN) in what was the eighth win in the race for both Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Winning jockey Christophe Soumillon said He is a champion with a big big heart. He gave me everything. He is a champion. I knew he was going to be something special when he won in England last year.

The two Japanese contenders took the lead in the early stages, but as they hit the stretch, Thunder Snow passed a tiring Adirato (JPN) and started to eat away at the lead Epicharis had enjoyed.

The son of the late Gold Allure showed how talented he really was by finding new gear after gear as they approached closing stages, trying to hold off his rival.

With about 200m to go in the race, Thunder Snow seemed to lose his focus, but he was able to come back and out-duel Epicharis to win by a short head.

Soumillion said, I was very confident before the race. He had good gate speed and jumped well, but he was startled by the lines on the ground or something and changed leads, shifting out for a few strides. I was able to get him focused again and thought I still had time to come back.

Bin Suroor added: This was a new trip for him at 1900m but I had confidence. Christophe knows the horse well so I knew hed be able to sort out anything, even though he did look a bit green there 200m out, but the jockey sorted him.

The future seems bright for Thunder Snow, according to his trainer.

I talked to Sheikh Mohammed just now and we have nominated him for the Kentucky Derby but we are also considering the French, Irish, or even the English Derby, he said. We are keeping our options open and we will make a decision when I talk to Sheikh Mohammed again.