Saeed bin Suroor says he will have a pair of entries for next week’s Juddmonte Stakes at York, including Thunder Snow. Godolphin’s lead trainer has confirmed Thunder Snow will make his first appearance in nearly five months on the Knavesmire, the four-year-old’s last outing having been his storming run to the Dubai World Cup at Meydan.
Suroor says the decision to enter the Helmet colt for the £1million York showpiece is part of a long-term strategy which will eventually see Thunder Snow running in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs later in the year.
He said: “His last race was the Dubai World Cup and we made a decision with Sheikh Mohammed just to give him a break – because he’d had four races in Dubai.
“Since the horse came to Newmarket he’s doing well and working nicely. Oisin Murphy rode him last week – on the Limekilns in Newmarket – and the horse is improving all the time and now he’s fit, but he’ll need the race and will improve for it.”
Stablemate Benbatl will be joining Thunder Snow in line-up for the Juddmonte Stake – part of the QIPCO-backed British Champions Series – for what will be his second appearance at York, the four-year-old finishing runner-up to Permian in the Dante Stakes last year.
The Dubawi colt also enjoyed a positive winter in the middle east, landing the Group One Dubai Turf, and has since claimed victory in a Grade One in Munich.
“The horse has really improved physically this year,” said Bin Suroor. “The key for him is that it has got to be good ground, really. He doesn’t like fast ground or soft. He is doing well. Oisin Murphy rode him last week and he worked really nicely.”