Thunder heads Godolphin challenge

Group One winner Thunder Snow bids to kick-start his three-year-old campaign when he takes his chance in the UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan on Saturday.

Thunder Snow (left) runs at Meydan

Fourth to Churchill in the Dewhurst, the Godolphin-owned colt ended his juvenile season with victory at the top level in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, a victory that made him the top British-based juvenile with a rating of 118.

That race was on turf and the Saeed bin Suroor-trained son of Helmet makes his debut on dirt when he faces 10 rivals over a mile.

"This will be Thunder Snow's first appearance since winning a Grade One in France at the end of last season and I have been pleased with his preparation out in Dubai," Bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com.

"His latest piece of work on Monday went very well. It will be his first run on the dirt, so we will need to see how he copes with it.

"He is improving all of the time and is 85 per cent ready to go on his first start of the year."

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Bin Suroor also saddles Best Solution, who was runner-up in the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud over a mile and a quarter in late October.

He was dropped back to seven furlongs for his first run of 2017 when fourth to Fly At Dawn in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial on this course last month.

"I think the seven furlongs of the trial was too sharp for him. This distance will be better for him," said Bin Suroor.

Godolphin have a powerful hand as they also have the Charlie Appleby-trained duo of Fly At Dawn and Capezzano.

Appleby said: "He put up a good performance and picked up well in the trial, while the step back up to a mile is going to suit him.

"The form of the maiden that Capezzano won has worked out well and before that he was runner-up to Cosmo Charlie, who was second in the trial.

"A step up in trip will also suit. He will be one of the least experienced horses in the race but has been progressing nicely and this will hopefully be a stepping stone to going further with him."

Newmarket trainers John Ryan and Marco Botti go for glory with Grey Britain and Qatar Man respectively in an 11-runner field for the Group Three contest.

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