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Thunder Snow On Top Of The World For Home Team

Photo: Erika Rasmussen (www.erikarphotography.com)

Saeed bin Suroor has dominated the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline like no other trainer and won the US $10 million feature for a stunning eighth time with the Christophe Soumillon-ridden Thunder Snow.

The winner of the UAE Derby on this card 12 months ago was smartly away from his outside berth in stall 10 and the Belgian-born rider barely saw another rival as the pair strolled away to score by five and three-quarter lengths in a track record time of 2.01.38.

American legend Bob Baffert was looking for his fourth win in the race and after his Arrogate’s dramatic victory last year, he saddled the second and third with West Coast beating Mubtaahij by a neck.

Thunder Snow’s win took his career tally to seven wins in 18 starts and provided bin Suroor with his eighth Dubai World Cup win from 42 runners – a record which towers across his rivals.

Thunder Snow also capped off a remarkable evening for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as it was Godolphin’s fourth of the night, and the second leg of doubles for Soumillon and bin Suroor.

“When I came in the straight I could feel nobody was following me,” Soumillon said. “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.

“When I saw him he was confident in front and I thought surely the horse was going to win from then.

“We have the best owner in Sheikh Mohammed. He is the best leader and gives us the best horses. It is a brilliant win and I will give the trophy to my mother and brothers and family.

“It was always on my mind to run him in the Dubai World Cup and he will have a break now, before running in Europe or America.”

The order of finish was completed by Pavel, Forever Unbridled, Awardee, Furia Cruzada, Gunnevera, Talismanic and North America.

Race Quotes:

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor (Thunder Snow, 1st) – “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.

“When I saw him he was confident in front and I thought surely the horse was going to win from then.

“We have the best owner in Sheikh Mohammed. He is the best leader and gives us the best horses. It is a brilliant win and I will give the trophy to my mother and brothers and family.
“It was always on my mind to run him in the Dubai World Cup and he will have a break now, before running in Europe or America.”

Jockey Christophe Soumillon (Thunder Snow, 1st) – “When I came in the straight I could feel nobody was following me. 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.”

Trainer Bob Baffert (West Coast, 2nd and Mubtaahij, 3rd) – “Since we started from the inside gate, I wanted to take the lead but the outside horses went faster then he found his stride. He was in better form than last year and he ran his race, but this is the Dubai World Cup, it is not easy.”

Jockey Javier Castellano (West Coast, 2nd) – “I had a nice position outside the winner. He was balanced and in a good rhythm. I had every chance in the world to win the race but the best horse clearly won. He fought very hard to the line to keep second place. Very happy with his run.”

Jockey Victor Espinoza (Mubtaahij, 3rd) – “The early part of the race he wasn’t comfortable on the inside. I tried to get him out before the turn, but the door closed. But he tried his very best and I thought we might get second inside the final eighth, but West Coast kept going. He has been second, third and fourth in this race now; it’s a pretty neat record.”

Jockey Mario Gutierrez (Pavel, 4th) – “The race went perfectly for us. He got himself into a good position and really went well. We had a big chance, but he just wasn’t quite good enough to win today. I got a great trip, honestly a perfect trip. I’ve not excuse. My horse ran his race.”

Trainer Dallas Stewart (Forever Unbridled, 5th) – “It was a little wide, but that’s the way it played out and we’ll just have to accept that. She came back for this great and we’ve been proud of her all year long. It’s just an honour to be here.”

Jockey Mike Smith (Forever Unbridled, 5th) – “The speed was just gone today. She got away scrambling a little bit, but she recovered and made some good progress. But then they just left us. She hadn’t run in about four months and she was a little tired.”

Trainer Mikio Matsunaga (Awardee, 6th) – “The pace was a bit fast. But he toughed it out. He could not follow them when the pace picked up around the far turn, but I think he gave his best.”

Jockey Yutake Take (Awardee, 6th) – “Since we started from the inside gate, I wanted to take the lead, but the outside horses went faster and then he found his stride. He was in better form than last year and he ran his race, but this is the Dubai World Cup, it is not easy.”

Jockey Joel Rosario (Gunnevera, 8th) – “I think at one point he tripped himself, anyway he stumbled and I thought he might go down, but he recovered. But that took something out of him, and he sort of emptied – it wasn’t his night.”

Jockey Antonio Fresu (Furia Cruzada, 7th) – “She tried her best and ran well but that was a very good race.”

Jockey Mickael Barzalona (Talismanic, 9th) - “He had a good enough run but perhaps he didn`t handle the dirt.”

Trainer Satish Seemar (North America, 10th) – “When he missed the break, I knew it was not going to be his night. He was loaded second and although he’s a gentle giant, he can jiggle around in the stalls, which is what happened. He has never had to take the kickback, because he has always dominated, and that’s why being drawn in gate two was important. But, unfortunately it didn’t work out. We still have a good horse. He’ll have the summer off and come back to same route as this year at the Carnival.”