Thunder Snow wins 2018 Dubai World Cup: As it happened at Meydan

All the race news, photos and fashion from the richest day in horse racing

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It's been an incredible day of record-breaking racing at Meydan racecourse, with Godolphin the big winners, sweeping all three of the big races, starting with Bentabl's victory in the $6 million (Dh22.04m) Dubai Turf. That was quickly followed by Hawkbill in the $6m Dubai Sheema Classic, before Thunder Snow landed the big one - the $10m Dubai World Cup.

Scroll through our updates as it happened at Meydan, featuring race highlights, race round-ups and a few pre-race predictions to see how many we got right!


After a sensational win in the 2018 Dubai World Cup with Thunder Snow, jockey Christophe Soumillon has offered his thoughts on a "dream come true" victory.

Jockey Christophe Soumillon gestures as he rides Thunder Snow after winning the Dubai World Cup horse race at the Dubai World Cup in the Meydan Racecourse on March 31, 2018 in Dubai. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE
Jockey Christophe Soumillon gestures as he rides Thunder Snow after winning the Dubai World Cup horse race at the Dubai World Cup in the Meydan Racecourse on March 31, 2018 in Dubai. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE


8.55pm: Big upset in the Dubai World Cup as Thunder Snow wins the $10m race ahead of favourite West Coast! Mubtaahij claims third.

Amith Passela from Meydan ...

Dubai World Cup Group 1 (D) 2,000m $10,0000

Thunder Snow brought the roof down at Meydan after leading all the way to win Dubai’s most prestigious equine prize in a new track record.

It capped a fantastic evening for Godolphin and their most successful and longest serving trainer Saeed bin Suroor in the Dubai World Cup.

Thunder Snow under Christophe Soumillon won by more than five lengths from American hall of fame trainer Bob Baffert’s West Coast and Mubtaahij to complete a four-timer for the racing operation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.


8.45pm: WIth 5 minutes to go until the Dubai World Cup, take a look at some of the best hats on display at Meydan this year. After all, it wouldn't be a day at the races without some creative headgear!

Reem Mohammed / The National
Reem Mohammed / The National


8.30pm: Now it's time for the big one - the $10m Dubai World Cup at 8.50pm. Amith Passela believes pre-race favourite West Coast will guide trainer Bob Baffert to a second win in as many years following Arrogate's remarkable victory in 2017. Gunnevera looks good for a runner-up finish, with Mubtaahij taking third.


8.15pm: Hawkbill leads all the way to claim the $6m Dubai Sheema Classic! Poet's World takes second with Cloth Of Stars third.

Amith Passela reports from Meydan ...

Dubai Sheema Classic Group I (T) 2,410m $6,000,000

Hawkbill provided Godolphin their third win of the night, despite stirring in the gate and getting caught up in the barrier ahead of the race.

The Charlie Appleby-trained five-year-old chestnut son of Kitten’s Joy came into the race having won the Group 2 City Of Gold, the prep race, at the Dubai World Cup Carnival on Super Saturday.

William Buick briefly raced behind Poet’s Word but was soon in front, taking the shortest way home to win by a convincing three lengths for the Michael Stoute-trained runner with another Godolphin horse Cloth Of Stars in third.


7.55pm: Just two races remain of the 2018 Dubai World Cup. Next up is the $6m Dubai Sheema Classic at 8.10pm, and Godolphin are well represented in the race. Amith Passela is going for Hawkbill for the win ahead of Cloth Of Stars and Idaho.


7.40pm: Benbatl lives up to the hype to win the $6m Dubai Turf! Vivlos comes home second, Deirdre claims third.

Amith Passela from Meydan ...

Dubai Turf Group I (T) 1,800m $6,000,000

Benbatl provided Godolphin their second win and the first of the night for Godolphin’s longest serving trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Oisin Murphy atop the Dubawi colt settled in fourth behind the early pace-setter Janoobi under Jim Crowley.

He moved to second as they approached the home turn and was well in control from 300m out to win convincingly over the Japanese trio Vivlos, last year’s winner, Real Steel and Deidre.

Benbatl won twice over the course and distance before a narrow defeat to another Godolphin horse Blair House in his three starts in the Dubai World Cup Carnival.


7.15pm: Six races down, three to go and next up is the $6m Dubai Turf. Amith Passela is backing two Godolphin horses to go well here, with Benbatl to claim the win and Blair House third. Lancaster Bomber is his pick to finish second.


6.45pm: Mind Your Biscuits goes flying on the outside to win the Dubai Golden Shaheen by a nose over XY Jet and Roy H! The final standings ensure an American 1-2-3 in the $2m race. Just what Amith predicted ... in a slightly different order!

Amith Passela from track side... 

Dubai Golden Shaheen Group I (D) 1,200m $2,000,000

Another track record was claimed when Mind Your Biscuits blazed the 1,200-metre trip on the dirt to retain his hold on the Golden Shaheen.

Joel Rosario atop the five-year-old by Posse came from the back of the field after a slow start but Mind Your Biscuits was flying towards the end as he pipped X Y Jet and Roy H for an American domination of the race.

Jordan Sport and X Y Jet bowled along in front closely followed by Matera Sky and Roy H on the outside. And when it looked like Emisael Jaramillo had the race in the bag on board X Y Jet, Mind Your Biscuits struck, clocking 1min 10.12sec.


6.30pm: Next race in the schedule is the $2m Dubai Golden Shaheen at 6.40pm. Amith Passela expects American runners to dominate this race, with Roy H his pick for the win, Mind Your Biscuits claiming second and XY Jet third.


6.10pm: Amith Passela from Meydan ...

Al Quoz Sprint Group I (T) 1,200m $1,000,000

Charlie Appleby celebrated his first winner in the Dubai World Cup after James Doyle powered Jungle Cat to victory ahead of American pair Stormy Liberal and Conquest Tsunami.

The Godolphin trainer suffered a setback just before the start when his international favourite Blue Point was a late withdrawal after he was found bleeding from the nose.

Jungle Cat completed a hat-trick after winning twice in the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Appleby’s victory was another first at the meeting where records continued to tumble in all five races run so far.


5.35pm: Amith Passela trackside at Meydan ...

UAE Derby Group 2 (D) 1,900m $2,000,000

Mendelssohn turned the UAE Derby into a procession. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Scatt Daddy colt was quick out of the gate and raced in front before storming clear on the home stretch under Ryan Moore to win by 18 and-a-half lengths.

Mendelssohn won in a new track record time of 1min 55.19secs while Moore was completing a double on the night.

The Doug Watson-trained filly Rayya under Pat Dobbs stayed on to take second from the American raider Reride trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Javier Castelleno.

Godolphin’s Gold Town who came into the race having won two successive races, including the UAE 2000 Guineas, could finish only fourth.


5.20pm: Next race, the $2m UAE Derby, is up in 10 minutes and Amith Passela believes Gold Town is the horse to beat, with Mendelssohn and Yulong Warrior completing the top three.


5pm: Amith Passela trackside at Meydan Racecourse...

Dubai Gold Cup Group 2 (Turf) 3,200m $1,000,000

Vazirabad won a record third Dubai Gold Cup to become the first thoroughbred to win three races at the Dubai World Cup. He did so in style too, with a new track record time of 3mins,17.92secs.

Christophe Soumillon atop Vazirabad timed his run to perfection with a now familiar manoeuvre from the back of the field to win by a length from Sheikhzayedroad and Godolphin’s Rare Rhythm.

The Godolphin pair, Frontiersman under James Doyle and Gerald Mosse on Red Galileo, set a cracking pace early in the race but that only played into the hands of Vazirabad.


4.40pm: Next up is the $1m Dubai Gold Cup at 4.50pm. Amith Passela is backing Rare Rhythm to claim the win, with Frontiersman and Vazirabad completing the top three.


4.30pm: From Amith Passela trackside at Meydan...

Tallaab Al Khalediah provided Saudi Arabia with their first success at the Dubai World Cup meeting’s Arabian showpiece, the Dubai Kahayla Classic. Trained by Mutlaq bin Mashref and ridden by Roberto Perez, Tallaab Al Khalediah kept up his 100 per cent record with a fifth win from five races.

Perez raced behind the early leader AF Al Sajanjle. He moved to the front as they approached the final bend and then held on to prevail from the Oisin Murphy-ridden Chaddad, who pipped Jim Crowley atop Barnamaj close to the line for second spot.


4.10pm: Next up is the $1m Dubai Kahayala Classic, and Amith Passela is expecting Ziyadd to edge Barnamaj and Al Zahir in a highly-competitive race.


3.50pm: From Amith Passela trackside at Meydan...

Heavy Metal under Ryan Moore clinched the Godolphin Mile to provide Indian trainer Sandeep Jadhav his first winner with his first runner in the Dubai World Cup meeting. Muntazah ridden by Jim Crowley took second ahead of Japanese raider Adirato with Christophe Lemaire.

Well beaten in the race last year, the eight-year-old gelding by Exceed And Excel  has now won four races in six starts this season.

Moore had Heavy Metal in front after jumping out of Gate 9 and travelled well to win comfortably in the end. Crowley came from the middle of the pack to take second on Muntazah to overtake Adirato close to the finishing line.


3.30pm: With 15 minutes to go until the first race of the day, the $1m Godolphin Mile, Amith Passela is backing Economic Model to beat Kimbear and Heavy Metal to win the race.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - MARCH 29: Economic Model during track work day prior to Dubai World Cup 2018 at the Meydan Racecourse on March 29, 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Economic Model. Tom Dulat / Getty Images


3.05pm: Saeed bin Suroor, the Godolphin trainer, offers his thoughts on Thunder Snow - one of two horses the UAE-based stables have entered in the Dubai World Cup race. The other horse is Talismanic.


2.52pm: Then, of course, there's the big one - the $10m Dubai World Cup. Featuring 10 horses vying for one of the biggest prizes in horse racing, the Dubai World Cup is one of the most prestigious events on the race calendar.

Amith Passela profiles each horse competing before providing his predictions. Will West Coast live up to his pre-race favourite billing? Only time will tell...

Dubai World Cup: Profiles of the 10 horses and race predictions


2.45pm: With eight races leading up to the Dubai World Cup, take some time to familiarise yourself with each race. Amith Passela provides a snap summary of each race and provides his 1-2-3 predictions ...

Previews and predictions for the eight races leading up to Dubai World Cup