Thunder Snow, Godolphin’s courageous winner of last month’s G2 UAE Derby at Meydan, is set to have a crack at the G1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has given the green light for the Helmet colt to travel to America to take up the ‘win and you are in’ option open to the winner of the Dubai Classic.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor will be saddling his seventh runner in the Kentucky Derby – his best-performed was China Visit, who finished 6th of 20 runners behind Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000.
Saeed has long felt Thunder Snow would be suitable for the challenge of America’s famous ‘Run For The Roses.’
“Sheikh Mohammed has made the decision to run Thunder Snow in the Kentucky Derby,” the trainer said.
“The horse is in good form. He is sound, healthy, and working really well, and I am so happy with him.
“It is great to see another horse from Godolphin travel to the Kentucky Derby as it is one of the best races in the world.
“Thunder Snow prepared (for this race) in Dubai. He will be in quarantine for two days and then it will be back to his normal routine,” the trainer said.
Thunder Snow has had a solid grounding for his biggest challenge. He finished second in Doncaster’s G2 Champagne Stakes, 4th in the G1 Dewhurst at Newmarket, and then put together a hat-trick of high class wins, in the G1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, and the UAE 2,000 Guineas and Derby at Meydan.
Christophe Soumillon will again take the ride.