Saeed Bin Suroor: captured first Group 1 in over a yearPICTURE: Getty Images
Thunder Snow storms home for Bin Suroor
Report: France, Sunday
Saint-Cloud: Criterium International (Group 1) 7f, 2yo colts & fillies
A WRETCHED summer has turned into a golden autumn for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor and Thunder Snow capped the trainer's change in fortunes with a wide-margin win from South Seas.
Ravaged by a virus during the main part of the Flat season, Bin Suroor has had his string firing again in recent weeks and sent out promising Listed winner Really Special at Newmarket on Saturday.
However, it was a return to the top table that was more important for the Godolphin man, and he landed his first Group 1 since Prince Bishop won last year's Dubai World Cup as Thunder Snow came right away from his rivals in the closing stages.
There had been drama at the stalls when record-breaking jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot was unseated from his mount Capchop moments after the start, as Bay Of Poets tanked through under William Buick to take the early lead.
Thunder Snow sat just behind his fellow Godolphin runner until the home straight when Christophe Soumillon brought his mount right across to the stands' side to race up against the hedge which separates the stand from the course.
Having only been narrowly in front with a little over a furlong to run, Thunder Snow strode on purposefully in the closing stages to win with authority. South Seas claimed an honourable second with favourite Promise To Be True third.
Thunder Snow finished fourth behind Churchill in the Dewhurst Stakes last time out, and was introduced into the betting for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas at 20-1 by BetVictor.
Hugh Anderson, managing director of Godolphin, said: "I know it is the middle of the night in Australia but for Saeed [who is preparing for the Melbourne Cup] this is a fantastic way for him to sign off the season. He will be absolutely delighted and we all are too.
"This horse has had quite a testing season and he has been put through everything that could be thrown at him and to come through and win that authoritatively is absolutely fantastic. Credit to Saeed, and the new jockey."
He added: "He looks good for next year. Christophe said the ground didn't cause him any problems and he should be able to get a mile."
Andrew Balding was also pleased with the effort of South Seas in second and said: "I am very happy. Oisin [Murphy, rider] said he will stay further next season and he should improve physically with time. We have got lots to look forward too."