Thunder Snow nicks UAE Derby

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Thunder Snow nicks UAE Derby
Thunder Snow (blue in the middle), ridden by Christophe Soumillion, winning the fourth race at Meydan racecourse in Dubai on Saturday.

Dubai - Thunder Snow, the three-year-old colt from Helmet, was involved in a photo finish with Japanese raider Epicharis

By James Jose

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Published: Sat 25 Mar 2017, 5:31 PM

Last updated: Sat 25 Mar 2017, 7:35 PM

Godolphin got their first winner of the night as the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Thunder Snow clinched the $2,000,000 UAE Derby Sponsored By The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, in thrilling fashion, on Saturday.
Thunder Snow, the three-year-old colt from Helmet, was involved in a photo finish with Japanese raider Epicharis, and just about nicked it by a short head, in the Group 2 race, run over 1900 metres.
It was Thunder Snow's fourth win in eight starts and his third victory on the bounce. It was also his fourth Group 2 winner.
Thunder Snow's victory also brought about a double for jockey Christophe Soumillon, who had won the Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, on Vazirabad, just earlier.
Master Plan, saddled by Todd Pletcher with John Velazquez, was third, one and a half lengths behind Thunder Snow.
"The horse is a champion. He was a Group 1 winner in France and the jockey gave him a really good ride," said Saeed bin Suroor.
Meanwhile, Soumillon said: "When he came into the last turn he put his nose to the left and didn't turn well.  I was trying to get him concentrated but at the 200m mark he saw the marks on the ground from the gates and he got scared about it, changed legs and he hangs. I tried to keep concentrating because I knew it was not finished. He wants to make it hard for me but I just keep it going."
"He must be a great horse. I think today he showed he was just a bit immature. But he is a great horse and I also love him on the turf. He is so versatile," he added.
Thunder Snow could now be lined up for the Kentucky Derby or the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket but the former looks more likely, according to his handlers.
The race had got going with Qatar Man ahead of the pack. But with 400 metres left to go, Thunder Snow nudged past Qatar Man to take the lead. Qatar Man was running second with Ryan Moore piloting Lancaster Bomber up to third.
As the finish approached and with 200 metres left to run, Thunder Snow started to go wide with allowed Kiyoshi Hagiwara's Epicharis to find a way through. It was a battle to the finish with Thunder Snow just about holding it on.
Lancaster Bomber finished third, while Qatar Man ended up sixth.

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