Thunder Snow Retired to Darley Japan

Dual G1 Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow (Ire) (Helmet {Aus}–Eastern Joy {GB}, by Dubai Destination) has been retired from racing and will stand at Darley Japan in 2020.

Thunder Snow
Thunder Snow Picture: Dubai Racing Club / Andrew Watkins

A first out winner at two, the Godolphin-campaigned runner concluded his juvenile campaign by taking the G1 Criterium International, earning the distinction as the highest rated juvenile colt in France of 2016. At three, he won a trio of group races, including the G1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly in July.

He won the Dubai World Cup and the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 early in 2018, before rounding out the year with a runner-up effort in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and a third in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. At five, Thunder Snow was second in the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 before successfully defending his title in the World Cup in March.

In what would be his final race, the half-brother to group winners Ihtimal (Shamardal) and First Victory (Teofilo) finished third in the GI Runhappy Metropolitan H. at Belmont June 8.

"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," said trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

"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."

Added Harry Sweeney, President of Darley Japan, "We are enormously excited for many reasons that Thunder Snow is coming to Japan. 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 two, three, four and five, 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."

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