First Group 1 winner by Helmet

Helmet sired his initial Group 1 winner with Darley homebred Thunder Snow in France on Sunday.

Thunder Snow climaxed a tremendous year for Helmet’s first northern crop when he scored an outstanding 5 length victory in the G1 Criterium International (1400m) at Saint-Cloud.

Helmet (Exceed And Excel) shuttles from Darley Victoria and has sired 16 individual winners in Europe this term from his base at Dalham Hall in England.

Thunder Snow won his maiden at Leicester in May and had been runner-up in the G2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood and G2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.  Bounding clear at Saint-Cloud for Christophe Soumillon, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained colt won in a canter from South Seas (Lope de Vega) and Promise To Be True (Galileo).

“He will spend the winter in Newmarket or Dubai and the English 2000 Guineas is an obvious target next year,” spokesman Hugh Anderson said.  “There has been a virus in the stable so it has been a difficult season and this is great for Saeed and the team.

“Christophe said he was calm and super relaxed and will be even better over a mile and further next year.”

Thunder Snow’s dam Eastern Joy (Dubai Destination) is a half-sister to G1 French Oaks winner West Wind and she has already foaled Ihtimal (G2 May Hill Stakes), First Victory (G3 Oh So Sharp Stakes) and Always Smile (LR Hambleton Stakes).

Helmet sired his first stakes winner in Australia when Archives landed the G3 Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.  He stands at Northwood Park at a fee of $16,500 (inc gst).