Name: Saeed bin Suroor
Job Title: Trainer
Saeed bin Suroor is Godolphin’s longest-serving trainer, overseeing the preparation of horses on a daily basis since 1995.
Born in Dubai on November 16, 1968, he was brought up with horses and enjoyed riding and working with them from an early age.
He was a police officer in the Emirate but horses occupied most of his leisure time and he started training a few before coming to the attention of Godolphin’s founder and driving force, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who sent him 30 horses in 1992.
Those horses did well and what followed was a life-changing offer of a job that has resulted in his current status as one of the most recognisable and important people in the world of horseracing.
Saeed bin Suroor was appointed as a Godolphin trainer ahead of the 1995 season and quickly made his mark, collecting the first of four British trainers’ championships the next year, before following up in 1998, 1999 and 2004.
He has also helped Godolphin to achieve the accolade of top owner in Britain on nine occasions - 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2012 & 2013 - and leading owner in the Republic of Ireland in 1998.
Saeed bin Suroor enjoyed a phenomenal first season with Godolphin as he trained the unbeaten Lammtarra to win Europe’s top three races - the 1995 Derby at Epsom Downs, Ascot’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, France.
Lammtarra was expertly nursed back to health from a bout of colic to capture the Derby on his seasonal debut and the trainer oversaw the colt’s remarkable campaign of success.
That debut year brought further British Classic triumphs for the trainer, thanks to the exploits of Moonshell (Oaks) and Classic Cliche (St Leger), while Heart Lake also broke new ground as he became the first non-Japanese trained horse to win the prestigious Yasuda Kinen.
The trainer, aided by excellent staff, has a tremendous record in major races and Cape Verdi’s 1,000 Guineas win at Newmarket in 1998 completed the full set of British Classics. He has sent out 12 British Classic winners so far.
Godolphin has achieved numerous big-race wins worldwide and Saeed bin Suroor saddled the stable’s 100th Group One winner - achieved with Sulamani’s victory in the Arlington Million in 2003.
He celebrated another century at the Dubai World Cup Carnival in 2013 when Hunter's Light secured Godolphin's 200th Group One success in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round Three Sponsored By Emirates Airline.
The trainer enjoyed another fabulous Dubai World Cup Carnival in 2013, becoming the leading handler for the sixth successive year at the end of March. The remarkable mare Sajjhaa gained two Group Ones during the Carnival, taking the Jebel Hatta Sponsored By Emirates Airline on March 9 and the Dubai Duty Free Sponsored By Dubai Duty Free on March 30.
From Saeed bin Suroor’s stable, there have been five winners of the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup, with the first being Almutawakel in 1999. The brilliant Dubai Millennium, the best horse Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin have had, scored a scintillating victory in the 2000 renewal, while Street Cry (2002), Moon Ballad (2003) and Electrocutionist (2006) complete the quintet.
He has also gained success at America’s premier meeting, the Breeders’ Cup, having saddled Daylami (1999) and Fantastic Light (2001) to famous triumphs in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Vale Of York in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (2009), while France’s premier race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, has fallen to Sakhee (2001) and Marienbard (2002) as well as Lammtarra (1995).
In October 2008, the trainer broke new ground with Godolphin’s first Group One winner in Australia when All The Good won the Caulfield Cup, while an initial Turkish success came the following year when Balius captured the Anatolia Trophy at Veliefendi.
Notable wins in 2009 included a further English Classic triumph with Mastery in the St Leger, while the trainer also had a year to remember in the United States with nine Grade One victories - a haul that saw Godolphin win the Eclipse Award for champion owner.
Saeed bin Suroor was responsible for Godolphin’s first success at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai when Whispering Gallery achieved a facile victory on the first day of the Dubai World Cup Carnival on January 28, 2010.
He also ended the year strongly, thanks to Mastery achieving the 12th Group One victory of 2010 when taking the Hong Kong Vase decisively at Sha Tin, Hong Kong, in December.
Saeed bin Suroor sent out Colour Vision for a famous win over Opinion Poll in the Group One Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June, 2012, to give the trainer a fifth victory in the staying highlight, following on from Classic Cliche (1996), Kayf Tara (1998 & 2000) and Papineau (2004).
He accumulated 129 winners during 2013, bringing his total number of victories to 1,718. The best horse he sent out during the year was Farhh, who raced twice and gained two Group One triumphs – the mile JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 18 and the 10-furlong QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 19 when the five-year-old Pivotal horse gamely held off the challenges of French star Cirrus Des Aigles and Investec Derby winner Ruler Of The World.
The trainer shows his dedication by getting up at 4am every day so as to be with his horses from an early hour and he usually works a seven-day week.
Saeed bin Suroor trains from his home base of Al Quoz Stables in Dubai from November to April, while he oversees Godolphin Stables in Newmarket, England, during the rest of the year.
Saeed Bin Suroor Facts & Figures (1995-2014)
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