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Thunder Snow Wins Gr1 Criterium International
At Saint-Cloud in France, Darley's Australian three-time Gr1-winning shuttler Helmet (Exceed and Excel-Accessories, by Singspiel) sired his first top-flight winner when 2YO Irish-bred colt Thunder Snow (Helmet-Eastern Joy, by Dubai Destination) bolted up by 5 lengths for trainer Saeed bin Suroor in the €250,000 Gr1 Criterium International (7 furlongs) for 2YOs, over fellow 2YO colt South Seas (Lope de Vega-Let it be Me, by Mizzen Mast) & 2YO filly Promise To Be True (Galileo-Sumora, by Danehill). This was a well deserved maiden stakes victory for Thunder Snow who improved his record to 2 wins and 2 placings (including the Gr2 Vintage Stakes & Gr2 Champagne Stakes) from 6 starts. "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," Hugh Anderson, managing director of Godolphin, told Racing Post. "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." 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." Thunder Snow is the fourth foal to race from the Dubai Destination mare Eastern Joy who has also produced Gr2 winner Ihtimal, Gr3 winner First Victory, and stakes winner Always Smile. This is also the family of Gr1 Prix de Diane winner West Wind and English Oaks & Irish Derby winner Balanchine.