Suroor hopes it will Snow yet again at Meydan
Thunder Snow stunned the Bob Baffert-trained West Coast in the 2018 Dubai World Cup at the Meydan Racecourse. (KT file)
Dubai - No horse has ever won the prestigious race on the trot and defend the title in the Cup's 23-year history
Saeed bin Suroor is no stranger to success with the Emirati being the most successful trainer at the Dubai World Cup.
Eight titles and counting, the 51-year-old has notched back-to-back winners thrice in 1999 (Almutawakel) and 2000 (Dubai Millennium), 2002 (Street Cry) and 2003 (Moon Ballad) and then 2014 (African Story) and 2015 (Prince Bishop).
But no horse has ever won the prestigious race on the trot and defend the title in the Cup's 23-year history.
Bin Suroor though is hopeful that his Thunder Snow can buck that trend and rewrite a slice of history.
Twelve months ago, the five-year-old son of Helmet was a class above the rest, storming to victory in the $10 million race.
This time, the stakes are higher - the prize purse has gone up to $12 million - and so is the field - there are 13 runners.
It is a top quality field but a wide open one with any horse in with an equal chance. And Suroor hoped Thunder Snow can replicate his showing yet again.
"He's going good," Saeed bin Suroor said at the 'Breakfast with the Stars,' the traditional gathering where race fans get to meet the horse connections, at the Meydan Racecourse early on Thursday morning.
"After he ran on Super Saturday, he came back in good form and the last piece of work before Saturday, he worked really nicely, looked good, Kieron Fallon (work rider) rode him like he always does and he is happy with him. He looking in good condition, good shape and now we are ready to run on Saturday," he added.
It hasn't been made any easier for Thunder Snow with him drawn wide on gate 12 of 13. But Suroor was optimistic Thunder Snow can overcome that under jockey Christophe Soumillon.
"He ran last year and he won from draw No.10. But this year, with 13 horses in the race, it will be a tough race. Draw 12 is not a great draw really but he has a good turn of foot, he can jump well. I want to give instruction to the jockey to just give him a jump. And if he is handy, it will be good for him," felt Suroor.
Suroor said that the Cup has attracted many good horses and hoped that Thunder Snow can make it two in a row.
"The Dubai World Cup, like every year, has different horses, the best quality horses come from different countries in the world to run in the race. And it shows how difficult it is.
"And every country sends their best. And the best of the best, the cream, run in this race. To win the race twice, it would be something special. Nobody has done it in Dubai World Cup history. We will see how it goes. We are confident, the horse is in good form and we hope he can run a big race for us. It will be great for us," he hoped.
Apart from Thunder Snow, Suroor has many others in the supporting acts including Major Partnership in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile, Red Galileo and Team Talk in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup, Mountain Hunter in the Group 1 Dubai Turf, Swift Rose in the Group 2 UAE Derby, Racing History in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic, but it is Dream Castle that Suroor is quite confident about.
Dream Castle, who is on a hot streak and is coming off a hat-trick of wins this year, will be contesting the Dubai Turf.
"Dream Castle in the Dubai Turf. He is unbeaten here in Dubai. Last time, he won the Group 1 Jebel Hatta. He is also in good form and it is a top race. He is improving all the time and we expect a good run from him.
"It is a quality with everybody in Europe focusses on this race. Dream Castle is a proven horse and the trip will suit him and so far he has done good," said the Godolphin handler.