UAE's Suroor promises to be back after a quiet night
Very Special, ridden by James Doyle, finishes first during the Cape Verdi race at Meydan in Dubai.
Dubai - Most successful Emirati trainer to field only two runners
The 21st renewal of the Dubai World Cup will be relatively quiet night for Saeed bin Suroor.
The Emirati, the most successful trainer with seven Dubai World Cups, will be fielding only two runners this time and none in the showpiece event.
Saeed bin Suroor, who has an overall 34 wins from 264 runners, said that he had only a limited number of horses this year and none were up to speed to compete in a race as big as the Dubai World Cup.
"This year, I only have two runners in the World Cup," Saeed bin Suroor said at the Meydan Racecourse on Thursday morning.
"Usually, I have 10 or more (in the race meeting) but I only have 30 horses (across stables) this year and most of them are not good enough, really, to run in big races. They have done well and to win races but when they come to the World Cup night, it is hard for them," he said.
Despite that, Saeed bin Suroor said it was better to be patient and find a good horse and promised to come back next year.
"From the 30, they are struggling to run because they are rated below 100. We only have two for the World Cup. But sometimes, you are lucky to find a good one and sometimes you have to be patient for the next year. But I'm looking forward to the European season. We have some good quality horses," he said.
His two runners are Very Special, the promising four-year-old filly, and Haafaguinea, with both to be ridden by James Doyle.
Very Special will race in the Dubai Turf, while Haafaguinea gets the long trip of 16 furlongs in the Dubai Gold Cup.
"Very Special, she is an improved filly. I liked the way she won the first time in England. At the end of the season, she finished second in the Listed race and she came here and won a Group 2 race. She is doing good and four days ago, she worked well and nine furlongs, I think, is the best for her," Saeed bin Suroor said of Very Special.
"Physically, she has to improve a lot and I think she will be a better filly next year. But the reason, we gave her a chance now in the Group 1 in the Dubai Turf is to see her future. But I liked the way she won and the way she finished her race. Usually, she's in the front all the time but it depends on the pace, how fast they go. If she's in the front, I will be really happy with that," he added.
|Roll of honourSaeed bin Suroor|
Dubai World Cup record:
Very Special has four wins, including two Group 2 victories from her seven starts.
About Haafaguinea, Saeed bin Suroor felt the six-year-old from Haafhd, can handle the 3200 metres trip.
"He won between a mile and a mile and a half between last year and this year and he finished second in Group 3, his last race. He is doing good. It is a new trip for him but he has a big heart and tries very hard. I would like to see him nice and happy and relaxed in the race and he will stay," felt the experienced 49-year-old.
Looking back into an illustrious career, Saeed bin Suroor said time has flown by very quickly.
"Time has gone really fast but it has been unbelievable with some good memories with some of the best horses and team. But we are still hungry, we still need to do something more special," he said.
Saeed bin Suroor had back-to-back winners of the previous two years on African Story and Prince Bishop. Both have since been retired and put to stud in England.
"Both of them are stars. Prince Bishop, last year, after he finished second in the Al Maktoum Challenge, he was there in the stable and I told people there in the stables, my friends, that he is going to win the World Cup. He broke slow but William (Buick) looked after him in the race and it was a great ride, finished strong.
"The year before African Story was the superstar and he won many races here in Dubai. Both of them are retired now. This year, I didn't have the right horse for the World Cup. But I will be back next year," said Saeed bin Suroor, who picked Dubai Millennium in 2000 as his most memorable winner among the seven.
"I won it seven times in the past and every winner means a lot for us. But Dubai Millennium in 2000, he was something special. It was 16 years ago and time has gone really too fast. But he brings back some good memories," he said.
dubai world cup
Race fans enjoyed the Breakfast with Stars at Meydan on Thursday as well as several performances from entertainers and music bands. — Photos by Neeraj Murali