Saeed bin Suroor anticipating another big effort from Thunder Snow at Deauville

Sat 12 Aug 2017

Saeed bin Suroor is "only looking forward" with Thunder Snow as the tough colt seeks the third Group One success of his career in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday.

Only six will go to post for the prestigious Group One, but that is one more than Thunder Snow faced when streaking to a second top-level triumph in the Prix Jean Prat last time out.

He may only be three, but this weekend will mark the 13th outing of his career, having taken in races in Dubai, America and Ireland as well as France this year.

He made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in America when refusing to race in the Kentucky Derby, but there has been no sign of a repeat being on the cards.

"We know he handles soft ground, he won a Group One last season on it," said Bin Suroor.

"He's come back from his last run very well and seems fresh. He's in good form and his last piece of work was very good indeed.

"Obviously he won a Group One in France last time out, but this race looks even tougher. The quality looks really high, but I'm very happy with  him. He's such a tough horse and he loves all the travelling.

"He won twice out in Dubai, he went to America, he ran in the Irish Guineas and then ran in France last time.

"Who knows what happened at Churchill Downs. He was well before and after the race and has never done anything like that since. It is one of those things no one will ever know.

"That is all behind him now, though, and we're only looking forward with him."

Andre Fabre's Al Wukair went close to winning the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket but was subsequently injured and has only raced once since, when given too much to do behind the reopposing Taareef at Maisons-Laffitte.

"Andre was happy with his comeback run and we expect him to strip a bit fitter for this," said Harry Herbert of owners Al Shaqab Racing.

"We know how good his form in the Guineas is and if he can reproduce that he should take the beating.

"However, that race seemed to take a lot out of him and Andre has been very patient in building him back up again.

"His work leading up the Guineas was exceptional and Andre was really excited about him, it's now a question of getting him to put it all together on the track.

"The ground should be OK for him, the way he is put together and the way he moves, but it is a slight unknown.

"We still feel he has the potential of making it to the top, but we are still a bit in the dark about him.

"I'd imagine he'll be staying in training, but we'll just take it one step at a time."

Fabre also runs the Godolphin-owned Inns Of Court, the outsider of the field, and Trais Fluors, second to Thunder Snow in the Jean Prat.

Speaking earlier in the week, Fabre said: "Trais Fluors was supposed to run at Goodwood, but the ground was too soft.

"He was second in the Jean Prat, but that was a funny race. He might not have won, but should definitely have been closer. This race shouldn't be like that."

Freddy Head's filly Gold Luck, third in the Jean Prat, completes the field.

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