The time has come for the equine king of UAE racing to resurface and Godolphin’s Group 1 Dubai World Cup winner is reportedly ready for his 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival debut. Saeed bin Suroor trained Thunder Snow is on schedule for Super Saturday’s Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 and the 5yo son of Helmet appeared to have his head in the game when making a rare appearance at Meydan track work last week. Based at Godolphin’s Al Quoz training centre Thunder Snow was joined by five others members of the ‘blue army’ and galloped impressively over two laps with recent carnival winner Major Partnership and Very Talented.
Retired multipe British Champion Jockey Kieren Fallon was in the saddle as the 2017 Group 2 UAE Derby and Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas winner distanced himself from his companions on the second lap after tracking them on the first. “He did his main work at Al Quoz, but sometimes I take a group of horses to Meydan to get a feel of the dirt track,” Bin Suroor said. “We show them the track and get some exercise on it. It’s just routine and he looked good on it. “He’s going to be ready for Super Saturday, but he will surely improve from the run,” he continued. “He hasn’t raced since November of last year, when third in the $6 million Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. He’s had a nice break and we are happy with how he’s moved in his work.
Whatever happens, he will need the run and improve from it.” A horse who could possibly challenge the multi surface Group One winner in the 2000m race is His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Muntazah, trained by Doug Watson. Exiting a facile victory in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes over 1600m and being a Group 2 Godolphin Mile runner-up last year, he has the option of staying at the shorter distance in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar on Super Saturday, as well. The son of Dubawi was originally due to run in the 1900m Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2, but was rerouted to the following week’s Firebreak. Watson said: “He’s come out of his run really well and what we will likely do is enter both races and make a decision after discussing.
“It will be up to the boss. As far as the distance, I think it’s more on breeding and what I do is try to get them there fresh and fit. So far, all is well with him. “I will likely have Cosmo Charlie in there and look forward to not taking on North America, because they have such similar styles. “He likes an uninhibited running style on the front and to be on the rail.” One who has been trading blows with Cosmo Charlie the last twice they met is Hamdan Sultan Ali Alsabousi’s New Trails, who is also pointing toward Round 3 in what will be just his eighth lifetime start. The 5yo half-brother to Grade Two winner Tizaqueena has been filling trainer Ahmad bin Harmash with confidence, and the trainer said: “He’s doing very well and is still very new and learning.
“His last run was only his seventh run in his life and every day he seems to improve more; every race is better than the one before. Right now, Round 3 of the Maktoum Challenge is the plan and hopefully that will put us in the World Cup. Right now it’s all about the big day, but we also know he is a horse who will be even better next year.” Meanwhile, Japan’s K T Brave is being aimed to the Dubai World Cup for owner Kazuyoshi Takimoto. Trained by Haruki Sugiyama, the chestnut 6yo exits a pair of placings in the 2100m Listed Kawasaki Kinen and 2000m Group 1 Tokyo Daishoten. This autumn, he beat Group One winners Omega Perfume and Apollo Kentucky in the Listed JBC Classic and Listed Nippon TV Hai respectively. Dubai World Cup probables: North America, Thunder Snow, Seeking the Soul, Bravazo, Yoshida, Audible, Muntazah, New Trails, Cosmo Charlie, Gronkowski, Axelrod and K T Brave.