Exclusive: National pride more important than personal success at Dubai World Cup, says Bin Suroor

Did you know? The legendary Emirati trainer is a nine-time winner of the $12 million Dubai World Cup race


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Emirati trainer Saeed bin Suroor
Emirati trainer Saeed bin Suroor

Published: Mon 20 Mar 2023, 7:03 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Mar 2023, 8:41 PM

He has more far victories than any other trainer at the Dubai World Cup meeting but Saeed bin Suroor says he is more proud that the $30.56 million meeting has become the centerpiece of world racing.

A nine-time winner of the $12 million Dubai World Cup, in addition to a stockpile of successes in the supporting races, the legendary Emirati trainer salutes the wise leadership of Dubai’s Rulers.

“Since the very beginning in 1996 I get this feeling of immense pride every time I walk onto the racecourse,” he told Khaleej Times. “It’s an amazing feeling to be part of the giant spectacle that the event has become.

“I have had some of my biggest successes here in front of my fellow Emirati people but national pride overshadows everything you can accomplish on the race track.

“The race meeting was created to become the best in the world and it has exceeded all expectations,” he added.

Unlike in the past Bin Suroor saddles just two runners across the nine races including Real World in the $5 million Dubai Turf and Passion And Glory in the $1 million Dubai Gold Cup.

“Sometimes you do not find the right horse for the big events (Dubai World Cup), that’s acceptable because it takes a special horse to compete in these kind of races,” said Bin Suroor.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have had good horses run, and win, so I’m more than satisfied with what I and my team have accomplished.

“But the real winner is Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai). It was his vision to create this meeting and attract the very horses in the world to Dubai,” he added.

“This is arguably one of the strongest race days anywhere in the world. We have horses from every corner of the globe, every continent. No other event can match this.

“When you compete against the best in the world, winning is all that sweeter. That’s why the very best horses, trainers, and jockeys come here every year hoping to become a part of racing history,” Bin Suroor added.

In the absence of a runner in the $12 million, Dubai World Cup Bin Suroor can stand back and view the race that has helped shape his life, from a fresh perspective.

“I believe that this year’s race is very open,” he said. “You have the favourite, Country Grammer, who is looking to become only the second horse after Thunder Snow to win it, but you also have a very strong bunch of horses from Japan.

“Having sent horses to Japan myself I am aware of the high standard of racing in the country. The Japanese take their racing very seriously and have planned for years to improve the quality of their racecourses and breeding,” he added.

“And the results are showing. They recently won the Saudi Cup and won five races at Meydan last year. So you have to go to respect what they are doing.”

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