Four-time champion trainer Saeed bin Suroor has been part of the Godolphin success story for the best part of three decades.
He has trained many of Sheikh Mohammed’s finest horses and his CV is decorated by a dozen British Classic winners plus a record nine winners of the Dubai World Cup.
Having grown up with horses as a child, he began training while still in the Dubai Police Force. He did well enough to catch the eye of Godolphin founder Sheikh Mohammed, who sent him 30 horses in 1992.
Three years later, Bin Suroor was offered the Godolphin trainer’s job in 1995. He repaid that faith with a phenomenal first season, guiding Lammtarra to victory in the Derby, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. That same year also brought Classic triumphs in the Oaks, with Moonshell, and the St Leger with Classic Cliché.
The following year he scooped the 2000 Guineas with Mark Of Esteem and Bin Suroor’s rapid full set of Classics was completed in 1998 when Cape Verdi took the 1000 Guineas.
Bin Suroor won the trainers’ championship four times in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004, plus enjoyed great success every year at the Dubai World Cup Carnival. His Dubai World Cup winners have included Dubai Millennium (2000), perhaps the best horse Sheikh Mohammed has owned, plus two-time winner Thunder Snow.
When Mahmood Al Zarooni started training for Godolphin in 2010, Bin Suroor no longer had a monopoly on Sheikh Mohammed’s horses. Al Zarooni’s career subsequently ended in disgrace and he was replaced with Charlie Appleby.
Bin Suroor ‘s long list of major wins include Champions Series triumphs with such as Colour Vision (2012 Gold Cup) and Farhh (2013 Lockinge Stakes, above, plus QIPCO Champion Stakes) but his last Series win came in 2014 via Cavalryman in the Goodwood Cup.
Indeed, his last domestic Group 1 success was Farhh’s victory in 2013 and in 2020 he had only 39 winners – his worst season since 2003.