There were winners on and off the track at the 2018 Dubai World Cup – with world-class thoroughbreds, stunning fashion and outstanding entertainment.

By Holly Johnson


Posted on April 5, 2018

Four-year-old bay colt Thunder Snow has taken home the US$10 million Dubai World Cup at the nation’s prestigious Meydan Racecourse.

Ridden by Christophe Soumillon and saddled by Emirati handler Saeed Bin Suroor, Thunder Snow shook off his American opponents and cruised home in just 2:01:38 seconds.

After nine attempts, the 36-year-old Belgian jockey finally captured his first Dubai World Cup win with an easy five and three-quarter lengths victory.

Christophe rode proudly in the royal blue silks of Godolphin, the racing banner of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Bred under Darley Stud, His Highness’ international breeding banner, Thunder Snow helped Godolphin to its seventh Dubai World Cup win.

Christophe reveals that he was given some pertinent insider advice earlier in the day.

“A little girl from the Royal family came up to me before the race. She said to me: ‘the track here is small. If you go in front, normally you are going to win,” he told Racing UK.

The horse that bucked in last year’s Kentucky Derby, Thunder Snow sailed past the pair of American favourite’s West Coast and Mubtaahij, who finished second and third respectively.

“Winning this is like a dream come true. When I was a kid in jockey school I was looking and screaming when Cigar won. I was hoping one day I would have that chance,” Christophe told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Now in its 23rd year, the Dubai World Cup attracts some of the world’s biggest and best riders, trainers and horses – still holding onto its title as the richest race in the world since its 1996 inauguration.

“Dubai World Cup day features nine group races worth US$30 million in prize money, with the final race on the card, the showpiece Group 1 Dubai World Cup held over 2,000 metres, carrying a prize purse of US$10 million,” Frank Gabriel Jr, executive director of racing for the Dubai Racing Club, told The National.

Meydan Style Stakes

And there were winners off the track too.

The annual Meydan Style Stakes crowned a best dressed male, female and couple, and handed out awards for the best hats and fascinators on the day – with prizes worth up to AED250,000.

Local Dubai artist Charlotte Coddis took home the prize for Most Creative Hat with her inventive handmade headgear, inspired by colourful French artist Henri Matisse.

The extravagant day was brought to a close with a spectacular laser and fireworks show, and a performance by five-time Grammy-nominated American rapper, singer and composer Flo Rida – followed by a host of exclusive after-parties.