The Dubai World Cup meeting celebrates its historic 25th anniversary on March 27, with six Group 1 races and three Group 2s, including one of the world’s premier races, the $12 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline.
We have been paying tribute to previous Dubai World Cup winners. Today, we rewind to 2019 when Thunder Snow pulled off a record second Dubai World Cup win.
History was rewritten at the 2019 Dubai World Cup when Thunder Snow became the first horse to win back-to-back editions of the $12 million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1), while also winning on Dubai World Cup night for the third consecutive year, having landed the 2017 UAE Derby, as well. Unlike his facile victory in 2018 in the main event, the son of Helmet had to call on all his reserves this time, winning by a nose at the wire over Gronkowski in a thrilling race. Piloted by regular rider Christophe Soumillon, he added an extraordinary ninth Dubai World Cup trophy to trainer Saeed bin Suroor’s mantle and gave the Godolphin team of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum yet another triumph in the affair.
The win was his fifth UAE victory from eight local efforts, cementing him as one of the most popular horses to ever race in Dubai. The victory was the eighth from 24 runs, including four G1 triumphs on two different surfaces. Bin Suroor paid tribute to the dynamic winning duo: “He is such a brave horse. I wasn’t sure if he had won, but we had the best jockey in the world on board and he knows him so well. He has won the UAE Derby and now the Dubai World Cup twice on him from wide draws and they are a great team. This (win) ranks very highly, probably along with Dubai Millennium in 2000 when he won this race.” Jockey Christophe Soumillon reflected on the historic win with great pride: “Last year I won by five, six, even more lengths, and today Thunder had to fight hard. I really want to say a big thank you to Saeed bin Suroor and also to HH Sheikh Mohammed. Just before the race, they said to me in the paddock ‘you should have so much confidence.’ Thanks to Thunder Snow! Without him, I would not be able to do such things.”
Thunder Snow was retired from racing at the end of 2019, by which time he had managed massive career earnings totalling over $16 million. He faced and fared well against some of the best horses of this era, including when third in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and 2019 Metropolitan Mile Handicap (G1) and second in the 2018 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). His other big wins included the 2016 Criterium International (G1), 2017 Prix Jean Prat (G1), 2017 UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) and 2018 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 (G2).
Dubai Racing Club Press Release
Photo: Thunder Snow, (Dubai Racing Club)