Godolphin’s Thunder Snow looks to steal the show at G1 Whitney Stakes - GulfToday

Godolphin’s Thunder Snow looks to steal the show at G1 Whitney Stakes


Thunder Snow created history when becoming the first dual winner of the G1 Dubai World Cup earlier this year.

Godolphin star Thunder Snow steps back up in distance for one of North America’s most prestigious races, the G1 Whitney Stakes, run over nine furlongs on dirt at Saratoga in the US on Saturday.

The five-year-old Helmet entire, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor and going for G1 honours on a third continent, created history when becoming the first dual winner of the G1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline earlier this year.

Thunder Snow gamely beat Gronkowski by a nose in the 10-furlong dirt showpiece on Dubai World Cup night on March 30 earlier this year at Meydan, UAE, and stormed to a dominant victory in the $12-million contest in 2018.

Partnered again by regular rider Christophe Soumillon, he has also gained two European G1 victories on turf, including a straightforward success over a mile in the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly, France, in July, 2017.

Thunder Snow makes his second US appearance of 2019, keeping on to be a close third under joint top-weight in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap over a mile on dirt at Belmont Park on June 8.

His best form in America came when he finished third in the 2018 Breeders Cup Classic over 10 furlongs on dirt at Churchill Downs in December.

A field of eight for the Whitney Stakes includes three-time G1 winner McKinzie, who was a neck in front of Thunder Snow in the Metropolitan Handicap, G1 Santa Anita Gold Cup scorer Vino Rosso and Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline sixth Yoshida.

Saeed Bin Suroor said: “Thunder Snow has been working well on the track at Saratoga and looks to be in good order.

“He has settled in nicely and I am very happy with his condition.

“He is stepping back up in trip and has a good draw in stall four, although it is a very tough race and he is coming up against some strong opposition.

“We know that Thunder Snow is a tough horse and I am looking for a good result.”

Elsewhere, on Friday, three-year-olds Beyond Reason and Art Du Val bid for G3 honours in feature races on day four of Glorious Goodwood, on Friday.

Beyond Reason (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) lines up in the seven-furlong G3 Oak Tree Stakes, having been twice successful in Pattern races over the same distance as a juvenile.

The filly was the game winner of the G3 Prix Six Perfections at Deauville, France, in July, 2018, and returned to the Normandy course the following month to gain a three-length victory in the G2 Prix du Calvados.

Beyond Reason, drawn three, makes her second appearance of 2019, having come home fourth in a mile Listed race at Sandown Park on July 6.

The field of 19 for the Oak Tree Stakes is headed by G1 Coronation Stakes third Jubiloso, recent York G3 scorer Royal Intervention and Billesdon Brook, winner of last year’s G1 1,000 Guineas.

Charlie Appleby said: “We feel that the drop back to seven furlongs is going to suit Beyond Reason and she has definitely come forward for her first run of the year.

“It is a big field and you need a lot of luck around Goodwood, but she goes there in good form.”

Art Du Val (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), who runs in the G3 Thoroughbred Stakes over a mile, has also enjoyed success in France, as the No Nay Never colt was the comfortable winner of the Listed Prix de Saint-Patrick over the same distance at Saint-Cloud at the end of June.

He also scored on his only other appearance this year, readily winning the Meydan Trophy – a turf conditions race over an extended nine furlongs at Meydan, UAE, in February. Art Du Val, drawn 11, faces 10 other three-year-olds in the Thoroughbred Stakes including Britannia Handicap winner Biometric and Duke Of Hazzard, who beat the Godolphin runner in the Listed Prix Isonomy at Deauville in October.

Friday’s big handicap is the 20-runner Golden Mile, in which Godolphin is represented by Dark Vision (Mark Johnston/Oisin Murphy, drawn 19), winner of the G2 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last year, and Listed winner Key Victory (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle, drawn 20).

Charlie Appleby remarked: “We are hoping that a big field around Goodwood will see Key Victory back to his best.

“He ran well last time out at Sandown Park, but needs plenty of cover in his races, which he should get here.”

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