Thunder Snow 'ticks many boxes' as Japan's newest sire

Edited Press Release
November 07, 2019 10:07pm

Godolphin homebred Thunder Snow, the first (and so far, only) horse ever to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups and a Group 1 winner at 2, 3, 4 and 5, will stand at Darley in Japan next year, it was announced Thursday evening.

Earlier this week, Godolphin announced the horse's retirement.

“We are enormously excited for many reasons that Thunder Snow is coming to Japan," said Harry Sweeney, president of that nation's Darley operation. "In Japan, entry into the classics is largely based on racetrack earnings and Thunder Snow being a Group 1 winner on turf as a 2-year-old will impress breeders.

"Furthermore, he was very consistent and won a Group 1 at 2, 3, 4 and 5, another trait valued in Japan. And in the JRA, 50% of races are actually on dirt, so Thunder Snow’s prowess on that surface in addition to turf is another great advantage. He ticks many boxes indeed.”

Trained by Saeed bin Suroor throughout his career, Thunder Snow counts among his victories the UAE Derby (G2) and Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly (G1) on turf in the same season.

As an older horse, he won the Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G2) at Meydan before taking his first Dubai World Cup. He finished that season by placing in America's Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and Breeders' Cup Classic.

In 2019, Thunder Snow made history when becoming the first horse ever to win the Dubai World Cup twice, prevailing in a thrilling finish over Gronkowski with the pair well clear of the rest of the field.

“Thunder Snow created history by winning the Dubai World Cup twice and provided us with two brilliant results in France, capturing the Criterium International and the Prix Jean Prat," bin Suroor said. "He ran great races on dirt and turf at some of the world’s top meetings and was a superstar for us.

“He was a class horse, who was very professional and easy to train. He was extremely tough and always tried his hardest in everything he did. He was one of the best horses to ever race for Godolphin and it was a privilege to train him.

“We will all miss him at Godolphin Stables but he retires at the top and we can look forward to seeing his progeny. I am sure that he will become a top stallion over the coming years.”

Thunder Snow is by Helmet and out of the superb broodmare Eastern Joy, also dam of Group 1 performer Ihtimal.
This is the same family as the great race mare (and Godolphin’s first ever Classic winner) Balanchine.


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