07/09/2017 3:46PM

Thunder Snow shows the way in France's Prix Jean Prat


It’s a shame Thunder Snow threw a bucking fit and had to be pulled up just after the start of the Kentucky Derby, for the colt appears to be a cut above most if not all of the horses his owner, Godolphin, has brought over to America for Triple Crown races.

Thunder Snow offered a reminder of that Sunday at Chantilly when he led all the way to win the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat by 1 1/4 lengths over the previously unbeaten Trais Fluors.

Thunder Snow, under Christophe Soumillon, took control of a short field early, and with his main rival Trais Fluors away poorly, he controlled the one-mile race from the start.

By Helmet out of Eastern Joy, by Dubai Destination, Thunder Snow is trained by Saeed bin Suroor, and he ran his record in France to two wins from two starts, both Group 1s. Thunder Snow captured the Grand Criterium last fall at Saint-Cloud, then wintered in Dubai, where he was switched to dirt for wins in the UAE 2000 Guineas and the $2 million UAE Derby.

His Dubai success earned Thunder Snow a ticket to Kentucky, where his Kentucky Derby run ended almost as soon as it began. If anyone has ever figured out what set off Thunder Snow at Churchill Downs they have not publically revealed it, but the larger point is that the colt quickly bounced back into form.

He was second to Churchill three weeks after the Derby in the Irish 2000 Guineas, then third behind Barney Roy and Lancaster Bomber in the St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. The competition Sunday was less stiff, but Thunder Snow made the most of his opportunity, and now could be headed to the Juddmonte International at York or the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.