Initially arriving to Belmont Park on Friday, Godolphin Stable's multiple graded stakes winner Thunder Snow cleared quarantine Sunday morning and visited the main track, where he put in a brief jog in preparation for a start in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
“We're happy with him,” said Tommy Burns, traveling manager for trainer Saeed bin Suroor. “He just went out for a little jog and a little hack just to get him used to the surroundings and stretch his legs. He came back nice and he's happy and went straight into his feed, so he's good.”
With two wins from five starts this year including a victory in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge in March, Burns said plans for the 4-year-old Irish-bred son of Helmet would be made day by day heading into the race.
“He'll do a canter tomorrow,” said Burns. “We'll take it day by day, I'll speak to Saeed everyday. He arrives Tuesday and we'll probably do a blow-out either Wednesday or Thursday. No decision yet; we'll just see what his progress is.”
The Gold Cup will be Thunder Snow's first start on dirt since winning the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup in March. Burns said he was looking forward to getting the 4-year-old Irish-bred colt back on the surface of his biggest career victory following an eighth-place finish in his most recent start, the Group 1 Juddmonte International on August 22 at York Racecourse.
“We're excited to get him back to the dirt,” said Burns. “He was running well in the U.K. on the grass in Group 1s and he did win a Group 1 in France on heavy ground in Saint-Cloud Racecourse, but he really enjoys the dirt, so we're happy to see him back on it.”
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