Thunder Snow seals $10m Dubai World Cup success

CNN/ Newswire | 4/2/2018, 10:56 a.m.
In May 2017, Thunder Snow was the butt of a few jokes on Twitter after refusing to race in the ...

By Tom McGowan, CNN

(CNN) -- In May 2017, Thunder Snow was the butt of a few jokes on Twitter after refusing to race in the Kentucky Derby.

On Saturday, the Irish thoroughbred was the toast of the horse racing world after a thrilling victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

Under Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon, Thunder Snow recorded a seventh victory in the race for the Godolphin stable and a sixth for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor.

It was a far cry from the scenes at Churchill Downs less than a year ago, when the colt bucked out of the gate before pulling out of the "The Run for the Roses."

"I can't quite believe I've just won this amazing race," Soumillon said in quotes carried by

"I was screaming and crying watching horses like Cigar and jockeys such as Jerry Bailey and Frankie Dettori winning this race, so for me to do it is incredible."

An 8-1 shot before the race, Thunder Snow saw off the challenge of Bob Baffert-trained favorite West Coast, who came in second.

Soumillon was full of praise for his horse, who clearly enjoyed the Meydan track more than the Louisville dirt.

"He's a funny horse -- he's very talented but when he doesn't want to do something there's nothing you can do about it," he said.

"The track really suits front-runners but, even still, he's a true champion. He proved it as a two-year-old, a three-year-old and now today he was amazing."

Bin Suroor agreed, adding: "This horse is brilliant.

"Christophe rode a great race. We spoke beforehand about what to do from the outside draw and he rode him to perfection.

"As soon as he was out the stalls and in a good position, I thought he would go well."

Baffert had to settle for second and third place, with West Coast and Mubtaahij coming in behind Thunder Snow.

"Our horses ran well -- I knew they would -- but we wanted to win," he admitted. "Thunder Snow is clearly a good horse, he just ran them off their feet. I know that feeling."