Bin Suroor aims for sixth UAE 2,000 Guineas with Snow
UAE 2,000 Guineas Sponsored By District One Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City (Group 3) | Dirt | 1m, 3yo | ATR/RUK
A Group One winner without a penalty, Godolphin’s Thunder Snow looks the one to beat in the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas on Saturday evening as his trainer Saeed bin Suroor attempts to win the race, first contested in 2000, for the sixth time.
His first winner of the race, Bachir, who won the inaugural running, went on to win both the French and Irish 2000 Guineas, while the following year’s winner, Street Cry, landed the 2002 Dubai World Cup.
A winner on debut in a 6f maiden at Leicester, Thunder Snow, a son of Helmet, was beaten but far from disgraced in four subsequent outings, including a close fourth in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes.
He was then sent to France and destroyed eight rivals in the 7f Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, ridden by Christophe Soumillon, who is back in the saddle on Saturday.
Bin Suroor said: “We've been very pleased with his work since arriving in Dubai and expect a big run after a good piece of work on Monday. Obviously he needs to prove himself on the surface but we think he will handle it.”
The trainer also saddles Best Solution, the mount of Adrie de Vries, who finished fourth in the 7f trial two weeks ago.
Bin Suroor said: “He was a Group One second over 1m2f late last year and the trip was just too sharp for him in the trial so the extra furlong will help.”
That trial was won by another Godolphin horse, the Charlie Appleby-trained Fly At Dawn, ridden by Mickael Barzalona, leading close home to deny the reappearing Cosmo Charlie.
Stable jockey William Buick takes over and Appleby, who also saddles 7f course maiden winner Capezzano, who will be ridden by Barzalona, said: “Both of mine are proven on the surface and have won here over seven furlongs. The extra furlong should suit both and we appear to have two nice chances.”
Doug Watson trains Cosmo Charlie, who defeated Cappezzano in a 7f course maiden from Capezzano before finishing second to Fly At Dawn.
Watson said: “That was a great run and he seems to be progressing. It is a very tough race but he's in great form.”
Last year’s Group 3 Firebreak Stakes, also over a mile on dirt, was won by Godolphin’s Confrontation and he is back to defend his crown (3.40), albeit for a different trainer.
Saddled last year by Kiaran McLaughlin, he has now joined Saeed bin Suroor, who said: “Obviously conditions suit him as he showed last year. He has not run since March so should improve for the outing, but he has been pleasing us in his work and should be thereabouts.”
South African trainer Mike de Kock saddles Lindo Amor, who has the plum draw in stall one but needs to bounce back after a flat effort nine days ago in the Group 2 second round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.
Watson’s Desert Force tackles the trip for the first time, having found six furlongs too sharp last time, but it could be trainer Satish Seemar who provides the main dangers to Confrontation.
He saddles both Surfer, off the track for 401 days but winner of the course and distance Group 2 first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge in 2015, and the progressive North America.
Winner of all three local starts, each time over course and distance, the latter is the choice of stable jockey Richard Mullen.